Prairie du Chien dog park fundraising launched

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By Correne Martin

 

A Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation committee advocating to bring a dog park to the city has launched a fundraising campaign. 

Last year, the city council approved the use of a 1.9 acre property off Lockwood Street from the Highway 18 Bypass for the purpose of a dog park. 

“Right now, the only other place in the city dogs are allowed off leash is La Riviere Park,” said Parks and Rec Director Mike Ulrich. “Really, all we need to make this work is fencing. Then, we can progress with amenities as we go.”

Ulrich and the committee—consisting of Dawn McCoy, Randy Paske and Bob Witt—are seeking grants and sponsorships. They estimate $30,000 will be needed to get the fencing and install it. The hope is to create a perimeter and then separate that into two spaces, for big dogs and small dogs. 

The committee’s goal is to raise the money by the fall and then have the park ready for canines by Sept. 1, if possible. The city is seeking grants to assist with this endeavor. However, monetary donations of any amount are invited. Call 326-7207 to donate, or send a check in the mail to the Prairie du Chien Dog Park, City Hall, 214 E. Blackhawk Ave.

A dog park in Prairie du Chien would give residents, visitors and tourists the opportunity to take their four-legged pals to a large open area, let them off leash, and watch them run around, exercise and play. Options like water, dog waste receptacles, lights and other amenities are the eventual goal for the facility, Ulrich added.

“We could do some programming down the road,” he said. “Otherwise, it’ll just be a place where people and their dogs can go to socialize. Maybe seniors and special needs folks could come and watch the dogs run around.” 

Thus far, the Department of Corrections has helped remove trees at the dog park location, though there are still plenty of trees on-site, Ulrich noted. There is also an area dedicated to parking at the site already.

Both Southwest Vet and Tender Care Animal Hospital have already expressed their support of this community project. 

As fundraising gets underway, the dog park committee has an 18x24 mixed media painting, created by Lynda Coon, that will be stationed at various locations across the community. The artist’s rendering was something Coon created upon the committee’s request to provide the community with a vision of this future venue. She said she based it on an engineering plan, pictures of the site currently, and what the committee envisions.

“It’s shows a cheerful and bright summer theme,” Coon said. “On my business’ Facebook page (Yes, I Can Paint), I had people submit their dog pictures, and then I also included some of them in the finished work.”

She explained that her piece was made with pencil, colored pencil, acrylic and oil paints and Sharpie marker.

Rules and regulations for the dog park will be developed as this project moves forward, Ulrich said. 

Current Crawford County statistics show there are 1,282 dogs registered. 

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