Progress in do­na­tion-backed dog park

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Adam Dodd [email protected]­ald.com @the­re­al­adamdodd on twit­ter

Painesville res­i­dents, whether on two legs or four, are an­tic­i­pat­ing the city’s dog park be­ing con­structed along Hine Av­enue at the city’s Ro­tary Park.

The 1.5-acre park’s fund­ing is en­tirely de­pen­dent upon do­na­tions. One of its acres will be ded­i­cated to larger dogs while the re­main­ing half-acre will be des­ig­nated for smaller breed dogs only.

Those that wish to take their furry friends for a frolic will first have to reg­is­ter with the Parks and Recre­ation Depart­ment. From there, they’ll re­ceive an in­di­vid­u­al­ized fob which will al­low ac­cess through the park’s en­try gates.

Painesville’s Di­rec­tor of Recre­ation and Pub­lic Lands Michelle LaPuma said that the reg­is­tra­tion is done in or­der to en­sure that the dogs which will be at the park “are li­censed and have their shots.”

LaPuma feels the park is pro­gress­ing sat­is­fac­to­rily. She is cur­rently an­tic­i­pat­ing the in­stal­la­tion of fenc­ing, the next

“We changed the con­fig­u­ra­tion of the park, the way we were go­ing to lay it out.” — Painesville’s Di­rec­tor of Recre­ation and Pub­lic Lands Michelle LaPuma

pro­jected step in the process, but may be forced into a wait­ing game.

At the mercy of re­source al­lo­ca­tion, LaPuma stated that the $10,000 raised from the Painesville Com­mu­nity Im­prove­ment Corporation is a wel­come start but only gets them half­way to­wards the ap­prox­i­mate

$20,000 that will be needed to com­plete in­stal­la­tion of the fenc­ing.

To reach these ends, the city is of­fer­ing cre­ative means for grass­root fundrais­ing. Res­i­dents and lo­cal busi­nesses are en­cour­aged to make do­na­tions, and as to­kens of ap­pre­ci­a­tion, name plaques on benches and fenc­ing will serve as last­ing ac­knowl­edge­ments of their con­tri­bu­tions.

The Parks and Recre­ation Depart­ment will also

be hold­ing sev­eral fundrais­ers this year, like Aug. 24’s Bark for your Park and April’s Recre­ation Depart­ment fundraiser which will also see part of its pro­ceeds go­ing to­wards the park.

LaPuma was re­luc­tant to of­fer a po­ten­tial open­ing date with so many vari­ables at play, but said that they are an­tic­i­pat­ing a late Septem­ber open­ing if they re­main on sched­ule to raise enough to af­ford the fenc­ing that will need to be in­stalled

be­fore its grand open­ing.

De­spite the en­thu­si­as­tic re­sponse for the park at the re­cent State of the City ad­dress, LaPuma and other city of­fi­cials are adamant that the park not in­ter­fere or up­set the qual­ity of res­i­dence for those that will be the park’s neigh­bors.

“We changed the con­fig­u­ra­tion of the park, the way we were go­ing to lay it out,” La Puma said.

The al­ter­ation was done as an ef­fort to cause as lit­tle upheaval to the area as pos­si­ble.

“We left ev­ery­thing, all the trees for buffer­ing for the neigh­bor­ing homes. We didn’t want to dis­turb any­thing. We also changed it so that we’re head­ing back more to­wards the high ten­sion wires which is not head­ing to­wards res­i­dents.

“That works out best with drainage too. We had to de­stroy very lit­tle soil to make sure that we had good drainage. “

Those in­ter­ested in do­nat­ing to the park’s con­struc­tion are en­cour­aged to reach out Painesville’s Park and Recre­ation Depart­ment at 440-392-5905; 54 Men­tor Ave.

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