Park board approves dog park projectAfter over a year of planning and research, an agreement for a city dog park was approved by the Dickinson Park Board at their regular meeting Monday.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
After over a year of planning and research, an agreement for a city dog park was approved by the Dickinson Park Board at their regular meeting Monday.
The Park Board has teamed up with Oreo’s Animal Rescue — a nonprofit, animal rescue organization headquartered in Dickinson — to complete the project.
“I’m very excited,” Tara Couch, president of OAR, said after the meeting. “This has been a long time coming and we’ve all been very passionate about bringing it to our community for so many reasons.”
The dog park will cost about $60,000 and will be located on undeveloped land adjoining the Gress Softball Complex in south Dickinson, said James Kramer, director of parks and recreation.
The project is divided into two phases, each costing $30,000, Kramer said. The Dickinson Park District will commit $5,000 to the project and OAR will pay for the rest.
“We are not going to commit anything that there is not cash on hand for,” Kramer said at the meeting. “Once the money is raised we can commit to future purchases.”
The park district will be responsible for several aspects of the dog park including coordinating the design plan, managing the construction phase and maintaining the facility.
Kramer said the upkeep of the property will be absorbed by existing Gress Complex maintenance workers.
OAR must offer input throughout the design phase, provide $55,000 for the project and assist the park district with marketing the park.
The project was originally planned for a park in north Dickinson, but residents who lived nearby did not approve. After more research, the Gress Complex was chosen as the home of the dog park.
“We’re happy with the location,” Couch said. “It’s a shame that we couldn’t go with our original location, but perhaps that wasn’t meant to be.”
Kramer said the park will be surrounded by undeveloped property, which makes the Gress Complex ideal.
Several residents already walk their dogs in that area, he added.
The dog park will include a fenced-in area about 225 feet by 145 feet, Kramer said. The area will include separate sections for large and small dogs.
The complex is smaller than what was originally planned, but Kramer thinks it may be better smaller.
He said it opens the possibility for a second dog park to be built in the future.
Kramer and Couch said the money for phase one is already in place.
“A lot of phase one is going to possibly happen this fall and winter,” Kramer said.
Phase one is expected to be completed by summer 2010, Kramer added.
Couch said OAR plans to fundraise through the winter for phase two.
“We are very pleased to see this come to fruition because we have been working toward it for a long time and we feel that we will soon have the best dog park in the state,” Couch said. “We feel that it’s a wonderful thing for the community, for the people and the pets.”
The three properties closest to the dog park belong to Dickinson residents. Kramer said the landowners are aware of the project and have not objected to it.
The residents were either unavailable or declined comment Monday.