Dog Park grand opening todayAfter two years of planning and fundraising, the Dog Park in Dickinson is finally open.
After two years of planning and fundraising, the Dog Park in Dickinson is finally open.
The grand opening is scheduled for today and includes a walk-a-thon fundraiser, said Shelley Quandt, director with Oreo’s Animal Rescue.
“We’ll go for a short walk and then we’ll meet back there again and have a picnic lunch and award prizes,” Quandt said. “Anybody who brings in $50 or more in pledge money will receive a free T-shirt. Whoever brings in the most money overall will win an iPod nano.”
Registration begins at 10 a.m. in front of the dog park, which is next to the Gress Softball Complex in south Dickinson.
The park is a joint effort between Oreo’s Animal Rescue — a nonprofit animal rescue organization headquartered in Dickinson — and Dickinson Parks and Recreation.
James Kramer, director of Parks and Recreation, said the project has been discussed with the Park District for about two years.
Other locations for the park were considered, but after public hearings, the Park Board decided to put it on undeveloped land by the Gress Softball Complex.
“The residents in that area were very receptive to it,” Kramer said. “It had a lot of built-in amenities that we didn’t have to redo like a new place would have.”
He added it ties into a walking trail and has established parking space and bathrooms.
The Park Board contributed $5,000 to the project, while Oreo’s is raising money for the rest, which is estimated to be about $55,000.
Oreo’s has raised about $30,000. Other funds raised will be used for a picnic shelter and play features for the park, Quandt said.
“We’re hoping that it can still be completed yet this summer,” she said. “That’s our goal.”
The park hasn’t officially opened yet, but the fences have been up since last fall and Quandt said people have been using it for a few weeks already.
“I’m somewhat surprised at how much use it’s already seen,” Kramer said. “Rarely do I drive down there and not see somebody using it.”
The park district got involved because Oreo’s and area residents pushed for the park, Kramer said.
Quandt said it will be good for pet owners and the community.
“It helps people who live in apartments or don’t have a good area for pets to get out and exercise,” Quandt said. “It helps with socialization. Well-socialized pets make better pets.”