Improving Local Dog Parks

About half of my clients have dogs and cats. That’s why, when I heard about a chance for dog parks to receive a grant for park improvements, I knew I needed to share the details with my readers. Most cat lovers are animal lovers, and what keeps our pets happy keeps us happy!

For the third year in a row, Nutro has launched their Room to Run project, which is a program designed to award thirty $2000 grants to local communities for public dog park enhancements. Imagine your community having $2000 to put into your dog's favorite park! The funds could be used for painting benches, securing fences, improving the landscaping, installing dog agility equipment and other dog park equipment, creating or repairing a drinking water system for your dogs, or installing a “clean-up” station with biodegradable bags. The possibilities are endless!

The truth is that dogs need enrichment in their lives. Just as your cats need toys, climbing trees, and hiding places, dogs love having a safe place to run, other dogs to interact with, and places to play and let loose. Your local dog parks are a great place for your dogs to meet people and animals and have exciting new sights, smells, and sounds to experience!

One of the best parks for dogs I’ve ever been to is tucked away in a quiet corner of Pennsylvania, fully stocked with water stations, doggy waste disposal bags, and perfectly appointed benches and picnic tables for the humans to watch their dogs play. The park is divided into three fully-fenced sections: one for dogs under 40 pounds, one for dogs over 40 pounds, and one for dogs of any size. This idea, to me, is wonderful, because it creates safety for small dogs or dogs that may be too rough with one another during play time. By having different sections for different sizes, owners can better decide where their dogs will be most comfortable.

But even as I write about this particular park, I think of all of the ways it could be better. Even though there is lovely landscaping, there’s certainly room for improvement. Parks where dogs play need constant landscaping maintenance! Beyond that, though, there is little by way of interactive games for the dogs to play. Dog agility equipment would be such a lovely addition to this quaint park, and something the Room to Run project could help with tremendously!

See the ways the Room to Run Project helped parks around the country in 2011:

The winners for 2012's Project are as follows:

Hondo Dog Park (Hillsboro, OR)

RRUFF Dog Park Rocklin (Rocklin, CA)

Red Bud Isle Park (Austin, TX)

Paws N' Play (Marshfield, WI)

Canine Corners at Olson Park (Loves Park, IL)

Spring Hill Bark Park (Spring Hill, TN)

105th Street Dog Park (New York, NY)

Southbury Dog Park (Southbury, CT)

Independence Community Dog Park (Independence, OR)

Half Moon Bay Dog Park (Half Moon Bay, CA)

Redlands Dog Park (Redlands, CA)

Parsons Dog Park (Parsons, KS)

The Peachtree City Dog Park (Peachtree City, GA)

Falmouth Dog Park (Falmouth, MA)

SpokAnimal’s Dog Park (Spokane, WA)

Lucky Memorial Dog Park (Brush Prairie, WA)

Crossroads Dog Park (Gilbert, AZ)

James D. Kriegh Park Dog Park (Oro Valley, AZ)

Camp Barkeley (Abilene, TX)

Wichita Falls Dog Park (Wichita Falls, TX)

Fort Smith Dog Park (Fort Smith, AK)

Kansas City Pet Project (Kansas City, MO)

DeWitt Dog Park (DeWitt, IA)

La Crosse Dog Park (La Crosse, WI)

De Pere Dog Park (De Pere, WI)

JayCee Dog Park (Allegan, MI)

Big Bear Bark Park (Franklin, NC)

Northside Dog Park (Richmond, VA)

Reinheimer Dog Park (Nutley, NJ)

Belfast Dog Park (Belfast, ME)

Ken and Julia Gohlson Memorial Dog Park (Eastport, ME)

These 30 lucky parks were chosen this year, and we are sure to see great improvements from the grant money! To see all winners and learn more about the Room to Run Project, visit Nutro's Facebook tab.

This post was written by a Nutro Knowledge Network Member & sponsored by the Nutro Company.

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