At the dedication of the Mad River Dog Park late last month, the collective community effort to make the park a reality was called a poster child for project management, crowd funding and engaging the community,” by Richard Amore from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
He’s not wrong. This project was proposed, permitted, developed, and dedicated barely a year after the Warren Select Board approved plans to use town land near the elementary school and Brooks Field for a dog park.
The coalition of community groups, including the Mad River Valley Rec District which led the effort through its Mad River Valley Dog Park Committee included dog lovers, planners, dog professionals, builders and representatives from many local organizations.
Led by Eve Silverman, this group coalesced around the idea of a place where dogs could play and parlayed that into a successful crowdsourced fundraising effort, a Better Places grant and deep buy-in from individuals and businesses throughout The Valley.
Support for the park came from every sector of the community in terms of fundraising, volunteering, constructing, and outfitting it. It’s a thing of beauty and it even includes a viewing area for folks without dogs to watch dogs play.
It also achieves another community goal of giving dogs a place to run and play off leash which will likely reduce off-leash dog incidents on other public recreational facilities. And it will mean at least some portion of dog waste generated in The Valley (lots of dogs here!) will be disposed of properly at the dog park.
Additionally, for dogs whose humans don’t live near places where off-leash romping is possible, it provides a place for off-leash play.
During the dedication on September 29, watching dogs run and chase and interact with those present really enhanced the dedication and drove home the point of having a dog park in the first place. It’s a place for dogs to play and socialize while their humans gather.
Let’s all celebrate this milestone for our community.