The New London Jaycees will donate $9,000 to a new dog park in New London.
Start-up costs for the park are estimated at $13,000.
“This donation from the Jaycees is a huge first step in making the dog park a reality,” said New London Park and Rec Director Chad Hoerth. “The New London Jaycees have promoted this project from the start and this donation shows their commitment to the dog park.”
The $9,000 donation is almost enough to get the project started with the bare necessities, like the fencing, gates and a parking lot.
“The remaining amount for things like a port-a-potty and benches would be nice to have right away, but can always be added later as more funds are donated,” Hoerth said.
He noted that a company had expressed interest in donating signs for the dog park.
“I’ve also had some interest from some local individuals in forming a “Friends” group to assist in the fundraising and promotion of the new dog park,” said Hoerth. “In the next few months we’ll be working on getting that group formed and if all goes well, they may be able to raise some funds over the winter.”
He said if this happens, the full amount needed to start development may be available by next spring.
“We have heard of a great deal from interested community members,” New London Jaycees President Joshua Christianson said. “We believe this park would be a boon to city dog owners, and enhance the quality of life in our city.”
Jolene Stegath of New London walks her dog, Reno, at Hatten Park. “Sometimes families with young children get nervous when they see me coming with my big dog down the trail. Having a dog park to go to could be a nice alternative. Of course, I’ll have to see how Reno gets along with other dogs, too.”
The dog park will be located on River Road, just off Highway 54. Since the dog park site has been revealed, Hoerth said he’s had a few questions regarding the location, like: ‘Why would you put it in a spot where you can only drive to?’ In response, Hoerth says that the city has been working on plans for the Newton Blackmour State Trail that runs from Seymour through Shiocton and will be extended to New London. The trail utilizes the old railroad bed, and will run parallel, about 1,000 feet from the new dog park. “Once the trail is developed,” Hoerth explains, “a new bridge will be placed over the Embarrass at Pfeifer Park, which will allow residents easy walking access to the new dog park.”
The city is scheduled to consider the matter at the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 5, at the New London Municipal Building.
The Jaycees, a community service and leadership development organization, raise their funds by working concessions at New London’s Irish Fest, the Car Show at Hatten Park and the Bull Dog Reunion Bash. Jaycees New London Vice-President Lacey Rodgers related, “This project is a good example of the philosophy of the Jaycees and our commitment to giving back to the community.”
For more information about becoming involved in the Jaycees effort, please join them the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 7 p.m. at the Midtown Bar and Grill on Water Street or find more information at www.newlondonjaycees.org.
If you are interested in the idea of a Friends of the Dog Park group, a meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11 at the municipal building on the corner of Shawano and Shiocton Streets. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 920-982-8521.