The Mad River Valley Dog Park Committee has concluded its two-monthlong crowdfunding campaign, raising over twice the goal it set to qualify for the Better Places matching grant. The total amount raised to-date from the community is $24,375 with an additional $24,000 coming from the state through the Better Places grant program.
The campaign funds raised represent the donations of over 125 individuals and organizations.
“We are very grateful for such amazing support from our community. One of the goals of the Mad River Valley Recreation District is to find unmet recreation needs and help bring them to fruition. Surveys pointed to the need for a dog park, and we are excited to help make it a reality. We are grateful to the town of Warren for the use of the land, the many donors and volunteers supporting the project and, of course, the state’s Better Places Grant for the matching funds that are making this possible,” said Laura Arnesen of the Mad River Valley Recreation District, the fiscal sponsor of the dog park.
“Dog parks are the kind of amenity that helps build community while ensuring the safety of our favorite canine residents,” said Josh Hanford, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development. “We are pleased this Better Places project met their fundraising goal and will be matched with state support for the construction of this new public space in the Mad River Valley.”
Among the donors to the park include the sponsors of park features. These major sponsors include Small Dog Electronics (small dog and puppy area), Skip and Kristen Rodgers (shade structure), Mehuron’s (agility area), Pawsitive Pantry (“Berm and Tunnel”), Jennifer Bennett and The Valley Reporter (“Shady Grove”), and Dr. Sarah Spencer and Tom Mehuron (Adirondack Gathering area). Many other donors supported memorials in the Dog Spirits play feature or became Friends of the Fence. All sponsors will receive permanent, named recognition in the park.
Better Places is a community matching grant program empowering Vermonters to create inclusive and vibrant public places serving Vermont’s designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, or neighborhood development areas. The program is led by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Community Foundation, and Patronicity, its crowdfunding experts. The program supports community-led projects that create, revitalize, or activate community gathering areas that bring people together to build welcoming and thriving places across Vermont.
The Mad River Dog Park committee consists of volunteers from all the Valley towns as well as members representing the Mad River Valley Recreation District, the MRV Planning District, the Mad River Path, and others. The committee will report to the town of Warren, which owns the property where the park will reside, an approximately 1-acre site behind Brooks Field.
The money raised will be used to fund the initial build of the park, targeted to begin this spring. The committee is also working on plans for long term maintenance and management of the park. Ongoing fundraising will support the costs of annual maintenance and future enhancements. There is still an opportunity to become a sponsor of the park and have a permanent role in the initial build. Interested sponsors should contact