Barking for a Park … Our Own Way

If you followed the PetSafe “Bark for Your Park” $100,000 grant giveaway contest, you no doubt have heard that Montgomery came in fourth in the voting with 26,000 ballots cast. Huntingdon, West Virginia — with a population of just 50,000 residents — managed to pile up an amazing 87,854 votes and walk away the victor.

And … Montgomery dog lovers, rejoice! We did not “lose” the dog park contest after all. Emerge Montgomery just hosted a pet-friendly meet-and-greet at Blount Cultural Park and the big news is that we’re getting our first off-leash dog park after all! (Note: Bellenger Hill Park is not actually a legal dog park).

The Montgomery Humane Society — unwilling to accept defeat — went out on a limb for $50,000 worth of fencing and related materials so that the planned park could proceed. Following a design by volunteer architect Wilbur Hill of Chambless Brown Architects, the City of Montgomery will provide in-kind services to erect the fencing and provide regular maintenance.

Dogs will find their respective areas just inside the Vaughn Road entrance to the park. The first enclosure will welcome dogs of 45 or fewer pounds. Those lucky dogs will have the run of approximately 2 acres.

Across from an open area designated for a future agility training area will be the roughly 3.6 acre big dog park, complete with a walking trail ideal for folks who want to exercise their pets but don’t feel comfortable doing so without the safety of an enclosure.

Mayor Todd Strange spoke tenderly of his love for a former pet, “Diggie,” and listened intently as many attendees shared their stories and knowledge about successful dog parks in other cities. And when Hannah Chadee spoke of the Humane Society’s fund drive to raise $100,000 ($50,000 to pay off the fence loan and another $50,000 for park improvements), he came back to the microphone and put wide smiles on the audience’s faces by pledging $1000 — his personal money, not the City’s — toward the effort.

And the truly fantastic news we heard is that the park is scheduled for a grand opening not at some far future date but in mid-October.  If you are excited about the prospect, lend a helping hand by making a contribution yourself.

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 29 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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  1. Eddie Spangler says:

    Just curious as how they plan to handle the loads of poop. Does someone pick it up everyday or is it user responsibility.

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