GROTON — GOSA director Sidney F. Van Zandt has established a system to deal with the increasingly bothersome problem of dog waste along the trails and in the meadows and woods of Haley Farm State Park.

Mrs. Van Zandt, assisted by her husband, Sandy, mounted a dispenser for Mutt-Mitts on the rustic bulletin board at the entrance to the park on April 3, 2007. Mrs. Van Zandt also posted several signs on the board asking park users to clean up after their dogs. Dog owners use the mitts first to pick up the waste and then turn the mitts inside out to make bags.

To complete the system, Mrs. Van Zandt obtained from the Groton Parks Department a large metal barrel with a lid to accept used bags, and she arranged with the Noank Fire District for regular pickups by the Sauchuk sanitation company.

The new sanitation system has the blessing of the state Department of Environmental Protection, which is responsible for the park.

The Groton Open Space Association paid for the dispenser and mitts.

In the above picture of Mrs. Van Zandt, a tractor sits in the background, to the left of the bulletin board. It belongs to the Crowley farming family, whom GOSA has hired for 21 years to cut the fields to prevent them from turning to woodland.