- What is the status of this project?
As of 8/1/2019: the BV City Council is considering the pros and cons of a contract with RAA that would allow exclusive use of an acre of its public land. The Council may vote on the concept as early as 8/15/2019, which would allow RAA to begin its fundraising and to start negotiating contract details with the city. We hope to open in early 2020.
- Why is the dog park a good idea?
A dog park would provide clear health, safety, and legal benefits to the entire region. Our recent online petition to support a dog park gathered 960 signatures in ten months. Many local people now drive their dogs to Staunton or Roanoke to enjoy the benefits of an off-leash park. Dog parks provide a centralized area to provide information on dog health, veterinary services, training, and other basics. Benefits include gains in areas of sociability, safety, health, and economic development.
- Where will the dog park be located?
The current proposal is for the open space across 10th St., just beyond the Veterans Memorial Bridge and opposite the entrance to Glen Maury Park and the campground. This location was chosen for its accessibility, partial shade, availability of parking and of water, and its flat topography. It is close to the River Walk.
- Who will get to use the park?
RAA will offer access to healthy, friendly dogs with no history of aggression, when accompanied by their owners. Dogs must display current dog license and rabies vaccination tags and be current on vaccinations and shots such as Bordatella.
- How do you propose managing the problem of aggressive dogs?
Municipal dog parks across the country rely on an honor system, upheld by peer pressure from owners, to ensure that park use is reserved for sociable dogs and their responsible owners. Clearly legible requirements for use will be posted at the entrance to the park, reminding owners of their responsibilities. There will be separate areas for small dogs and large dogs. We will be working closely with BV Animal Control learn about the local canine community. We also plan to have experienced volunteers on hand as often as possible to get to know users, and to assure appropriate entry and use. The park’s overriding purpose is to provide a safe environment for dogs to play, so we cannot admit dogs that have been trained for protection or pursuit, rather than as pets.
- How do you propose managing cleanup?
Owners will be expected to keep an eye on their dogs at all times and to promptly collect and properly dispose of dogs’ poop. Here again, enforcement is typically by peer pressure from fellow users, for the ongoing success of the park. Bags will be provided for those who have neglected to bring their own.
- How will the park be paid for?
RAA assumes financial responsibility for the park, in exchange for the use of the city’s land. Once the Council approves the concept, we will create a working group of volunteers for planning and fundraising, over a period of 6-8 months. Fundraising strategies could include grants, donations RAA for the dog park, a GoFundMe, events such as a hikeathon, and/or memorial and donor recognition plaques. RAA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
- How can I help?
Spread the word, please! You can also donate–mark your donation “BVDP”–and/or volunteer.
And thanks a million. See you at the Park!