Do you know what has happened so far to bring a dog park to Newton? What a awesome ride it’s been! The dedication to this project has been absolutely amazing!! Let me run a recap for you.
Our community has voiced the need for a dog park for 10 years or more. There was enough interest that it received note in the 2010 ReNewton project.
A growing vocal pet community caused the Newton Dog Park Project group to get together in 2012. Ashley Klein, local owner of Blue Skies Pet Care, started the group early in 2012 and she and some supporters met with City Staff over the next few years, held booths at community events, organized Newton’s participation in a dog park contest where Newton placed #13 against 1,400+ cities nationwide, and attracted community support. This has been a labor of love for the longtime supporters of the dog park– especially Ashley.
There were lots of ups and down along the way. At times approval and funding seemed optimistic, other times not so much. Regardless, we moved forward.
In early 2015 Ashley and the rest of our group decided to stop chasing City-only funding for a public park. The Newton Dog Park Project approached Caring Hands Humane Society to ask about a fiscal partnership, which would mean their organization would offer their legal and tax-exempt status to our group because our goal is related to their animal welfare mission. It would allow us to fund-raise and write grant proposals. Their Board agreed with our goals (a dog park!) and a partnership started.
We were also incredibly blessed that Caring Hands Humane Society also felt moved to donate $10,000 towards the dog park at that time.
Momentum picked up following our new partnership. Early supporters were now able to donate and interested community groups joined our voice for a public park. Working with the City of Newton, it looked like we would have a City dog park in 2017! 🎉
Then in 2016 the Newton Rotary, who has members on the City commission, added their voice in support of our goals. Many meetings later, the dog park was well into happening in late 2016 and the Rotary was incredibly gracious by agreeing to raise funds to cover ~$8,000 of the roughly $16,000 of fencing that would need to be privately funded. They have also offered to install the brick pathway we are now using for our fund-raising, bringing their total donation to about $10,000.
So far about $4,000 has been donated by community members and local businesses and there has been a $4,000 pledge by a local business to fund the dog agility equipment, for a total community-raised of $8,000 by the Newton Dog Park Project in addition to the generous $10,000 contributions by Caring Hands Humane Society to the Newton Dog Park Project and the Newton Rotary Club to the dog park’s fencing and brick path. Some of these funds have not been used yet and we are working with the City of Newton to arrange the installation of new amenities.
The dog park had an awesome Grand Opening in late 2016 and we look forward to improving the park with your help in 2017. If you haven’t yet, please consider donating the Newton Dog Park Project! You can see the items we are still fundraising for and the donation opportunities on the Donate page.