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GROTON — The town’s canine community will soon be barred from their usual early morning or evening visits to the high school’s multipurpose athletic field, after they and their owners repeatedly showed themselves to be poor guests.

The reason for the sudden drop in hospitality among administrators at the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District is the growing number of dog owners who neglect to pick up after their pets when “exercising” them amid the gated confines of the field.

“It’s not a dog park,” stated School Superintendent Alan Genovese flatly when the subject came up at last week’s School Committee meeting.

According to Genovese, the district has tried to be friendly about letting local residents walk their dogs on school property but the increasing number of “accidents” involving student-athletes using the fields for practice prompted athletic director Daniel Twomey to bring the deteriorating situation to the attention of the administration.

Twomey said last week that although there have always been “problems” with dog droppings on all of the high school’s playing fields, things began to get out of hand over the past autumn on the multi-use field where the school’s running track is located.

Genovese told members of the School Committee at their meeting of Dec. 2 that frequently it was the fenced in nature of many school fields that dog owners found attractive allowing their pets to run free with little need to keep them at heel.

Signs asking dog owners to please pick up after their pets have been posted but to little effect.

As a result, Genovese informed the School Committee that it was decided to put up signs prohibiting pets only at the multipurpose field for now while taking a wait and see approach with the remaining fields with the hope that dog owners will clean up their act in the future.

School trips approved

Also on the School Committee’s agenda for Dec. 2 was review and approval of a pair of class trips, including the senior class trip planned for Orlando, Fla., in the spring.

In a brief presentation by senior class officers, committee members learned that through fundraising efforts begun as far back as their junior year, seniors had raised $30,000, half of which will go to help cover expenses dealing with the class trip to Disney World from June 2 to 5.

In addition to general expenses, each student who plans to go on the trip will be required to pay up to $700. So far, about 50 percent of the class has indicated an interest in going.

In addition to the usual attractions offered by Disney World, as part of its student group package, class members will be required to attend a two-hour informational meeting sponsored by Disney’s Youth Education Program informing them of the educational benefits of the park’s many attractions.

Pleased with the presentation, members of the School Committee had little trouble voting to approve the trip.

Also approved was a field trip planned by the varsity ice hockey team to Cape Cod where the group planned to relax and play some scrimmage games with local teams.

According to Twomey, the trip will also inspire “team bonding” and cost each of the 22 students who expect to go $98 plus the cost of meals.