Local Organization Raises Funds For Future Dog Park
Dog lovers in Dartmouth haven’t given up on their dream of seeing a dog park built on the edge of the Dartmouth Regional Park & Trails complex at 443 Old Fall River Road, despite two failed attempts to find a contractor to bid on the project.
According to an article from SouthCoastToday.com, non-profit organization Dartmouth Dog Advisory Work Group (DDAWG), the main sponsor of the dog park plan, hopes the town will secure a parks development grant this summer to help underwrite the costs of the proposal, initially estimated to be about $250,000.
“It’s a great location, away from residences, at an under-used facility”, said former DDAWG president Rick Oliveira. “When it’s done, it will be really nice for dogs and for people who visit ... and we’ll all be happy.”
To help keep costs down, the group has also agreed to supervise and maintain the park area for the town. DDAWG has also enlisted the help of volunteers to clear the site, saving as much as $18,000 in land-clearing costs. The group is in the process of obtaining special liability insurance coverage for the effort, according to DDAWG president Diane Camacho.
“Once you get the lot cleared, it shows people that this is really going to happen,” Camacho said. “Then you can really start soliciting donations on a larger scale”, she added hopefully.
The dog park was originally supposed to be funded by a private foundation that promises up to 90 percent of the cost of dog parks for any community willing to build and maintain one in Massachusetts, and matching funds from the Community Preservation Act were to make up the balance of the construction costs. However, the grant was lost, and now the town is scrambling to find another funding source.
The proposed dog park would include several pet play structures and water stations, plus park benches for dog owners, not far from an existing picnic area and parking lot at the North Dartmouth public park.
DDAWG aims to raise $100,000 to equip and maintain the dog park, and has raised about $7,000 so far with a low-key campaign over the past year, including spaghetti suppers and pet fair appeals, according to the last treasurer’s report. They have one upcoming fundraiser on June 12, a wine-tasting event (noon to 5 p.m.) at Coastal Vineyards on Pardon Hill Road, South Dartmouth. More than 50 tickets have already been sold for this special fundraiser. For $15, guests can enjoy appetizers, taste a dozen of the winery’s wide assortment of handcrafted wines, and enjoy live music by DJ Entertainment. Half of the proceeds will be donated to DDAWG, Camacho said.
Another way that locals can contribute is through DDWAG’s ongoing fundraising engagement with the Yankee Candle company. When shopping through yankeecandlefundraising.com, visitors can enter the DDAWG group number — 990096366 — through June 30, and the no-nprofit earns 40 percent of the total purchase. Shoppers have raised $279 for the organization thus far, and DDAWG member Karen Harb has pledged to match all the candle earnings with a donation in memory of her late husband.
“I was surprised at how fast that 40 percent adds up,” Camacho said, adding that she looks forward to continuing success with the program.
DDAWG will also be participating in Macy’s “Shop For A Cause” from August 26-28 for the second consecutive year. Last year’s event brought the group $485, Camacho noted.
“Every little bit helps,” she said.
In addition to the website, more information on DDAWG is available at facebook.com/DartmouthDogPark, or by e-mailing email@example.com.