In upcoming months, a new feature will be available at Gunn Park as work begins on the Bark in the Park dog park, which will provide a fenced-in, dog run area in the field located near Shelter House #7.
Those involved in initiating the planning for the dog park as well as the city leaders and Gunn Park crews who helped in the process participated in a groundbreaking ceremony Friday evening while other members of the community attended with their dogs.
“With the leash laws, our doggies need exercise,” organizer Jim Scott said, saying he and his wife first Martha considered the idea of a dog park when they saw one while visiting another city park five years ago. “What a great opportunity for them to get out. And I think it will be used far more than people anticipate.”
The dog run will cover under an acre of fenced-in land, where dog owners can enter the gate and then choose whether to take their dog into an area for large dogs or small dogs.
“It should be a lot of fun,” Scott said.
After about a year of planning and receiving approval from city leaders, whom Scott said were very supportive of the idea, the team of organizers was able to raise the needed funding for the fence from the community without having to ask the city for financial support from taxpayers’ dollars.
“Things don’t get done unless you have citizens that step up and raise money to make things happen,” City Manager Dave Martin said, saying the city can accomplish projects such as the dog park only through that partnership with the community.
Recent rains have prevented work from beginning as the ground has been too damp to begin digging post-holes for the four-foot fences, which have already been purchased. But once work begins, it will likely only take about a month to complete the project.
Though funding for the fences have already been raised, the group will continue to accept donations in order to purchase additional features such as toys for the dog park.
A fundraiser that will help that purpose will be held on June 12, with today being the deadline for signing up. That event will allow participants to submit photos of their pets which will then be made into a sketch that the participants can paint themselves on canvases during the event.
Those interested in registering for that fundraising event can visit TinyURL.com/FSDogPark