Dog lovers only have a little over a week left to ‘bark for a park’ in Potsdam, and Potsdam needs votes!
The Potsdam Community Dog Park has been in the works for about a year now. The 2014 “Bark for Your Park” contest, sponsored by PetSafe, is offering a $100,000 grand prize to the city that receives the most community-wide votes. In addition, the company is offering four prizes of $25,000 to the runner-ups. Potsdam was nominated for the contest in mid-May, and the first round of voting is scheduled to end on June 7.
As of Friday afternoon, Potsdam had received 745 votes on the contest’s website. But other competing cities have already obtained well over a thousand votes.
The dog park is still about $15,000 short of funds. Outstanding expenses include fencing materials, pet waste cleanup stands and clean water dispensers for the dogs.
In Potsdam, construction is already well underway—the Potsdam Humane Society has donated about six acres of land for the park, near the humane society’s shelter at 17 Madrid Ave.
The project has gotten a lot of voluntary support from the community. Jeffrey Hodgson of Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architects in Burlington, VT, designed it for free, and community volunteers have taken part in in organized clean-up committees on the space of the future park.
Deborah Massell, the project’s co-coordinator, told North Country Now that the mission of the Potsdam Community Dog Park is
to provide a fun, social, and safe play environment for dogs and their people; to create a beautiful, natural environment for both new and experienced dog lovers to foster responsible pet ownership; and to increase community awareness of the shelter and the many animals in need of forever homes.
Massell, a professor at the Crane School of Music and a dog lover herself, first proposed the idea last year. She’s working with Jackson Francisco and the Potsdam Humane Society to coordinate the planning, outreach, fundraising and land preparation for the project. Massell was the one who nominated Potsdam for the contest.
The plan is for the park to have a number of doggie amenities, including (from the Watertown Daily Times)
A large, fenced-in area with trails, benches and a gazebo. A separate fenced area will provide a safe place for small dogs, or a time-out space for naughty canines. Another area will be reserved for special use, such as exercising and training shelter dogs that don’t do well with others.
Voting closes on June 7 and the 15 finalists will be announced on June 13. The finalists will then be asked to create a video that demonstrates their dog’s need for a park. The winners will be announced on August 7.
Anyone who wants to vote for Potsdam can vote twice each day, once on the PetSafe Facebook page and once on its website at www.petsafe.net/barkforyourpark.In addition to votes, the Potsdam Community Dog Park continues to seek donations and community support through www.PotsdamDogPark.com.
Coordinators are hoping that the community dog park will be ready for the community’s canines this fall.