LEE COUNTY: Dog park proponents launch donation drive

Jul. 25, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

With official approval secured from the Lee County Board of Commissioners last week, the county Parks and Recreation Department is actively pursuing donations for a proposed dog park at O.T. Sloan.

The off-leash dog park will be located near the park's entrance off of Bragg Street and is estimated to cost $25,000, according to Parks and Recreation employee Lora Kelley.

"We've got a little bit more than $5,000 in donations," Kelley said Wednesday. "We have some promises [of donations], and we are waiting for them to come in."

Commissioners approved the location of the park on July 15, but they did not commit any funding for the project. The Parks and Recreation Department's original suggested location at Kiwanis Family Park was rejected in December.  

The commissioners' recent action, according to Kelley, lets the department apply for grants for the park, with the goal of opening it this fall.

"[Residents] haven't made a comment about the change in location," she said. "But we are very happy it was a unanimous commissioner vote."  

The department is accepting donations of any kind, but interested individuals can purchase a plaque for the park's fence, a bench or waste disposal station, dog tags or a paw print that will be featured on a founding donor board at the park, Kelley said.

Three out of five benches have already been purchased, according to Parks and Recreation employee Bill Shuey.

"That has been going really well, and we've already sold several plaques," he said.

The department is also organizing a fundraising event scheduled for Sept. 7 at O.T. Sloan Park, located at 1420 Bragg St., he said. 

The park will feature water and waste disposal stations and two fenced areas for active/large and inactive/small dogs.

People interested in donating or learning more about the park can contact Kelley at (919) 775-2107 ext. 202 or writing her at P.O. Box 1963, Sanford, NC, 27331.