by Dennis Dalman
There are plenty of happy dogs – and dog owners – now that the dog park in Pinecone Central Park is open.
The long-awaited park, nearly 4 acres in size, finally opened June 19 after a chain-link fence enclosure was completed. The dog park is located just to the right of the large parking lot near the west entrance of the park.
“Jordy loves it,” said Kim George, one of the earliest supporters of the park and one of the founders of Dog PAC, a group that raised funds for the fencing project.
George was referring to her pet, a 4-year-old golden retriever.
“Jordy jumps around in the park like a little puppy,” she said. “She loves to run in the tall grassy area and sniff things out.”
The park consists of two connected but fenced-off areas – one for smaller dogs, one for larger dogs. A gravel path leads from the parking lot to the park. At the entrance gates there is a sign stating rules, a trash bin and a Mutt-Mitt dispenser (plastic gloves owners can use to pick up after their dogs).
There are some trees in the big-dog part of the park, which make dogs happy. So far, however, – sorry, pooches – there are no fire hydrants within the enclosures.
“Overall, the park is great,” George said. “It’s a good size. It has some trees and things of interest for the animals. But we still have more to work on. The number-one thing is water from the hydrant by the parking lot to the park. It would also be nice to have a shade shelter of some kind. We also hope to have some interactive things for the dogs, such as an obstacle course.”
George said, after three years of planning, she is gratified an actual fenced-in park now exists and people will begin to see the value of such a nice amenity.
“Adding things,” she said, “will make it an even nicer place.”
The chain-link fence cost almost $36,000 to buy and to install. Century Fence of Forest Lake did the installation. The City of Sartell provided the park land for the dog park, as well as $10,000 toward the fence costs. The Dog PAC raised close to $9,000. The city also upped the cost of dog licenses to help pay for dog-park amenities. Organizers asked the city to advance the rest of the money so the fencing project could be completed, and the city agreed.
Dog PAC is comprised of a core of five Sartell residents: George, Lisa Pederson, Sherry and Scott Thien-Grother and Jenna Trisko.
That group plans to continue to host fundraisers for more dog-park amenities. To contribute money, send a check written out to Initiative Foundation/Sartell Dog PAC to 405 First St. NE, Little Falls, MN 56345. Checks can also be dropped off at the following places in Sartell: Knotty Paws, 809 10th Ave. N.; Advanced Care Pet Hospital, 911 Scout Drive; and Pine Cone Pet Hospital, 234 Pinecone Road S.
Another way to donate is to visit the following website:
www.givemn.or/project/sartell/dogpac and click on the donation button.