Desiree Chandler of Westbrook voluntarily picks up bags of dog waste left behind at Shaw Cherry Hill Farm in Gorham. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Some people walking dogs on Gorham fields and trails are kicking bagged dog waste into the grass, flinging it into woods or dumping it in parking areas, spurring the town council to consider taking action.

Cumberland resident Lisa Agren, with her dog Ranja, said it would be “a shame” for dog owners to lose access to Shaw Cherry Hill Farm because some owners are inconsiderate. ” Robert Lowell / American Journal

Town Council Vice Chairperson Suzanne Phillips has asked council members to think about solutions, which could potentially include a ban on dogs on Gorham trails.

“I will be sponsoring an item next month to try and improve the situation,” Phillips told the American Journal this week. “Not sure yet if it will be to close our trails to dogs or not.”

The problem is occurring on town and school athletic fields and especially at Shaw Cherry Hill Farm, which has three miles of trails and access to the Presumpscot River.

Lisa Agren of Cumberland, who was at Cherry Hill Monday with her dog Ranja, said she has seen bags of waste left right on the trails. She said it would be “a shame to lose something like this” because of inconsiderate dog owners.

Desiree Chandler of Westbrook and her daughter, Lilly, regularly enjoy a “beautiful walk” at Cherry Hill, but she has taken to bringing a long-handled picker with her on their outings. She picks up bags of dog waste and other litter and deposits them into a shopping bag for disposal off-site.

The 258-acre preserve has a carry-in, carry-out policy with no trash cans available.

Bob Hill of Westbrook takes three baggies along while walking Levi at Shaw Cherry Hill Farm. He said he often picks up after others. Robert Lowell / American Journal

“They throw it in the grass,” Chandler said, and on Monday, she picked up several plastic bags likely containing dog waste that had been discarded next to the portable toilet in the parking lot.

Gorham Recreation Department Director Cindy Hazelton said dog owners should not deposit the bags of waste next to the toilet because the company that services it can’t accept pet waste. She said leaving dog waste behind is “the most inconsiderate thing.”

The problem is being aired out on social media as well.

“I saw on Facebook that people are now getting into arguments on the trails about dog waste,” Phillips said.

Elizabeth Fontaine, a Gorham native who she said is one of hundreds regularly hiking Cherry Hill trails, which have been “a boon for the surrounding towns, especially during a time that has made indoor physical recreation inadvisable,” she said.

Bob Hill of Westbrook often walks his dog Levi on Cherry Hill. He says he usually takes three or four bags along to pick up dog waste left by others.

The dog waste problem has spread to fields where the town’s youth play in Gorham.

“Dog waste is also a problem on the school/town fields, coaches are checking the fields before games and practices,” Phillips said.

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