GREEN A dog park could be in the future for the city of Green.
The city hosted a community brainstorming meeting July 26, which about 50 people attended, to toss around ideas and imagine what a dog park would look like. Each table at the meeting had a label of either small or big to help group residents based on the size of their dogs.
Green Communications Coordinator Valerie Wolford said a dog park would be located inside Ariss Park on Wise Road.
Dog parks have been a staple across the United States since the first one opened in 1929 in Berkeley, Calif. Wolford said the park would encourage responsible dog ownership and allow for a safe place for dogs to play.
"It really builds community," Wolford said.
Green Parks Superintendent Mike Elkins said the 80-acre Ariss Park is mostly used for youth football and lacrosse. There are restrooms, a concession stand and a half-mile walking trail. The parks board a little more than a year ago decided to allow visitors to bring leashed dogs to the park.
He said some features for the park will be obvious such as fencing, double gates, water and bags to pick up waste. Rules will be formed for the park which will include no food treats and that the dogs are licensed and up to date on vaccinations.
Elkins and Wolford encouraged those in attendance to brainstorm other ideas for the park. Each table came up with "must have," "would like to have" and "would love to have" lists. While many ideas among the groups were similar, the ideas varied.
Some of the ideas that were brought up included separate areas for small and large dogs, water features, keeping the entrance and exit separate, a rinse area, dog bone shaped benches, clearly posted rules, agility training machines and community events with dogs.
Several names were thrown out for the park and some suggested allowing the community name the park, but the one that brought many in agreement was naming the park after retired weatherman Dick Goddard, who is a graduate of Green (Greensburg) High School and has been highly involved with animals his entire life.
The city has budgeted $60,000 in the Capital Improvements Plan for 2018 for the park. Wolford said much of the expense comes with the upkeep, and that the city may be able to apply for a few grants to help construct portions of the park.
"We are going to take all these great ideas and sort through them," Elkins said.
The next step will be to come up with a plan based on all the ideas and then share it with the community and the parks board.
Elkins said some of the site clearing could start this fall and the park could be open next year.