Scoop the Poop Dog Waste Education
The Stewardship and Trails Committees are excited to launch our Scoop the Poop campaign to protect our conservation lands, our trails, our wildlife habitat, our water, and to keep Southborough clean and beautiful. The focus of this campaign is to promote awareness about the importance of picking up and properly disposing of dog waste and to make it clear where dog walking is not allowed. This initiative is funded by a 2021 Choate Fund Grant. #Soboscoopsthepoop
The 2022 Dog Waste Education Campaign may be over, but the effort is not! You can download your own signs here:
Read more information about Dog Walking in Southborough (PDF).
Dog Walking Restrictions on Some Trails in Southborough
The Sudbury Reservoir serves as backup drinking water supply for millions of people and strict regulations are in place to help keep the watershed and water clean and free of pollutants. Dog waste contains harmful bacteria that can make people sick, especially children, and can be carried into water supplies by rain or snowmelt.
While dog walking is permitted on sidewalks, roadways, and a few other locations, dog walking is not allowed on any athletic field or on the Sudbury Reservoir/Boroughs Loop/Aqueduct Trail and the Bay Circuit Trail. The trails are located on watershed properties owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). DCR's Office of Watershed Management (DWSP) manages much of that land, and its use is regulated by the Watershed Protection Act. Please visit the trail map repository for a comprehensive list of trails in town.
A few interesting facts:
- Southborough has more than 1,400 registered dogs
- Each dog can produce up to three-fourths of a pound of solid waste every day totaling 1,000 pounds a day
- Dog waste can have adverse effects on the environment; check out this brief Video on Cleaning Up After Your Dog
- Southborough's Dog Bylaw requires that all dog waste be picked up and properly disposed of
Here is a list of a few parks that allow dog walking in our community:
Please remember to follow the posted rules, keep all dogs on a leash, under control, and pick up and properly dispose of all dog waste. Thank you for doing your part to keep the land and water clean.
- "Pet waste poses a serious threat to water quality as it is full of bacteria and viruses that can be harmful to people and wildlife, and nutrients that can cause harmful algal blooms." DCR Educational Flyer (PDF)
- "Dogs are fed processed foods or people food that results in an excess of nutrients in their waste and the environment. Wild animals on watershed property consume natural sources from the ecosystem and return nature to nature in their waste." DCR Public Advisory (PDF)
- What is a watershed? Learn about the watersheds managed by Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Division of Water Supply Protection (DWSP) and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA).
- Sudbury Reservoir Information
- The Massachusetts Watershed Protection Act