The Case for a Dog Park
The time has come for Lexington to have its own dog park! Some would even say it’s long overdue. A few years ago, a group of dog lovers launched a strong effort to convince the City to provide a dog park near the Woods Creek Trail and Waddell Elementary School. That effort was voted down.
This new effort seeks to establish the need for a local dog park by way of petition, and then, as a second phase, work to choose the best available location.
For now, Rockbridge area dog owners and dog lovers have to drive to Staunton, Harrisonburg, Salem, or other cities, rather than risk letting pets run at large in an unfenced area.
“The dog park initiative is directly in line with our mission of promoting responsible pet ownership in the Rockbridge area,” said RAA executive director Kelly Balthaser. Fresh air, regular exercise, socialization, and mental stimulation lead to happier, healthier animals with decreased behavioral problems stemming from boredom or lack of exercise. “It will also be an additional avenue for us to share educational information such as upcoming spay/neuter or rabies clinics or any special events going on at area veterinarian offices,” she added.
A good dog park is a valuable amenity to any city and will draw highway travelers, tourists, dog walkers, and Horse Center, hikers, and college visitors. A good dog park is a “third place” for creating community, educating owners, and maybe even an entertaining spot for those who no longer own a dog.
By the many dogs being walked around down or with their heads hanging out car windows, it’s is clear that Lexington is a dog-loving town. To support this project, sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/lexington-city-and-rockbridge-county-government-officials-lexington-va-needs-a-dog-park.
Finding a Location
Finding a good location has proven challenging. We need a location that is large enough for dogs to have room to run around–ideally with a separate area for large and small dogs. The park should be easy to access and have parking. The location should be semi-permanent–for example, a promise that the land won’t soon be sold for other purposes.