Dog park would be welcome addition

Feb. 26, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

The push for a local dog park is gaining traction, according to local parks and recreation staff — and a canine-friendly space could be completed by the end of the year. 

For those who are dog owners, that is welcome news. It makes a lot of sense.

Dog parks are becoming more commonplace in smaller communities like ours. A location where dogs and their owners can get outside and have some fun certainly seems feasible. To many, access to such an area is considered a quality-of-life issue.

Going forward, there are several facts to consider.

For one, the estimated cost of such a park, which would be located in the lower meadow of Kiwanis Park, is just $20,000. Yes, $20,000 is no small amount of money, but compared to the funding of other park-related projects, it's a reasonable amount.

Two, support for a dog park appears to be abundant. According to Lee County Parks and Recreation officials, of 421 responses generated from an online survey, just 12 were negative and 10 were unsure. The remainder expressed overwhelming support.

Third, public (i.e., government) funding is not being considered at this point. Instead, proponents are seeking donations from area residents and businesses. It's hard to argue against such a project if the success is dependent upon donations.

These days, many public officials are encouraging less government and more private funding. Well, here's a project that those officials should love. If the funding is not coming from public coffers but rather from private contributions, that's a plan that's certainly hard to criticize.

Here's wishing Lee County Parks and Recreation, as well as dog lovers in the area, the very best in putting together these donations to see this project come to fruition. A dog park could be a great benefit to our community.