A flurry of fundraising activity last weekend, including a yard sale and an hors d’oeuvres party at the Wildflower Boutique in Ouray, brought the group about $1,500 closer to its goal of raising $10,000 by summer. The bulk of these funds will go toward gated fencing and signage, said the project’s coordinator June Kirchner.
Dog park proponents hope to open the park in time for summer; once complete, it will be the only place in Ouray where dogs are officially allowed to run off-leash.
Further down on the dog park’s wish list, and not crucial for its opening, are landscaping, tables and benches, a “poop bag” dispenser and water tap, trash cans, a divided area for small dogs, agility equipment, shelter from sun and rain, and lighting. There is even a proposal to install a “Park Spark,” a street light that would be powered by methane from dog poop.
Kirchner and her husband came up with the idea for creating a dog park in Ouray after traveling with their own pet pooches and discovering wonderful dog parks in other parts of the country. She Googled “how to start a dog park” and from there the idea gained a life of its own.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Committee (PARC) worked with Kirchner to develop the formal proposal, which was approved by council in January.
Kirchner believes the park will be a happy place not only for dogs, but for humans too. “The people you meet at dog parks are so nice,” Kirchner said. “Dogs are a good ice breaker, a good conversation starter.”
The city’s parks master plan calls for a river walk to eventually connect the dog park to the North Ouray Corridor.