Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bark Park 'leash cutting' set for Monday

By The Herald Staff | 4/4/2014

Dog park organizers are ready to unleash the city’s newest amenity.

The Bark Park Boosters group and Ottawa city officials have scheduled a “leash-cutting” ceremony 5:30 p.m. Monday to officially open the dog park in the northwest corner of Forest Park, 320 N. Locust St., Ottawa. The public is encouraged to attend.

“The whole booster group has helped us get this done, along with great folks out in the community who have supported our dream to have an off-leash dog area,” Dawn Rush, co-char of Bark Park Boosters, said. “I am thrilled to see it constructed.”

The park contains separate areas for large and small dogs. The park’s fence recently was completed and other such features as boulders and a water fountain are to be installed in the coming weeks, according to a city news release.

Organizers continue to raise funds to purchase other items for the park. A donation raffle is under way, with tickets available to purchase at the city’s planning department on the second floor of City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., or at Best of Show, 130 W. 15th St., Ottawa, for some gift cards and “hands free leashes” made of paracord, donated by retired Staff Sgt. Allen Hill, who was nearly killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq. The special leash allows pet owners to hold beverages or other items while still ensuring their pet is nearby, the release said.

Pet license tags also are being sold as another fundraiser and will be available at Monday’s dedication, according to the release. Forms for the brick sales fundraiser will be available at the dedication, dog park organizers said. About 50 of the 350 bricks needed to form a walkway inside the first gate have been sold to date.  

The city is hopeful it will receive a grant in May for picnic tables and benches for the park. But if not, some will be purchased this year, with the remaining purchased over time, the news release said. 

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