Avilla is the little town that loves dogs.
An intrepid group of volunteers from Restore Avilla, the downtown revitalization group, is looking to transform that puppy love into building the first dog park in Noble County in Avilla.
The dog park is planned and designed to fit into a beautiful natural area near the Noble County Public Library’s east branch on Ley Street. The dog park will provide a safe space for dogs to play and get exercise under the watchful eye of their owners, who can connect and socialize with each other.
Restore president Todd Carteaux said the group has raised about $15,000 of the $35,000 needed to complete the park, a fenced-in area of 60 feet by 180 feet divided into two sections, one for large dogs and one for small dogs.
The push is on now to get the project to the finish line with a campaign, “Leave Your Mark on the Avilla Dog Park.”
Fundraising in 2020 was hampered by COVID-19 when events had to be canceled because of the high number of cases. A major event, a golf outing, was scrapped in 2020.
A “Dash for the Dog Park 5K” earlier this year raised $3,000, and Restore Avilla is planning other events for this fall.
Tax-deductible donations of any amount may be made securely online at www.restoreavilla.org.
Checks may be made payable to Restore Avilla, with “dog park” in the memo line, and mailed to: Restore Avilla, ATTN: Dog Park, P.O. Box 562, Avilla IN 46710.
Customers at the Avilla Farmer’s Market, held on alternating Saturdays, may drop off donations at Restore Avilla’s booth.
Donors also have special options to make gifts to the dog park.
The largest donor will have the honor of naming the dog park when the fundraising campaign is finished. Carteux said the largest philanthropist to date has contributed $3,000.
Customized fence plaques are for sale for $150 each. Carteaux said the license-plate sized signage can promote a business, acknowledge people places or events, or be placed in honor of or in memory of a special pet.
The dog park will need four weather-proof benches for seating. The benches will be constructed from composite materials and carry an engraved plaque. Each bench is $1,500.
In-kind donations of materials and equipment are welcome, too. Individuals or businesses who want to make in-kind donations may call Carteaux at 260-318-2584 or email Ann at email@example.com for information.
“We would like to get this dog park done this year,” Carteaux said. “The concrete pad and sidewalk are already done.”
The largest expense is the fencing at an estimated cost of $16,000, followed by the landscaping stone on the fence line. Bag dispensers and containers for waste disposal will be needed in the park, too.
Collaboration with other organizations has been the key to the park’s progress. The landlocked library wanted to expand its parking lot in 2020. Restore Avilla collaborated with the library to swap small sections of land to facilitate both projects and install the accessibility ramp from the expanded parking lot to where the dog park entrance will be.
The concrete pad at the park entrance was poured when a local company was in town for another project. Doing the work then saved some costs for moving equipment on and off-site for Restore Avilla.
The town’s park department has agreed to take on the care of the low-maintenance dog park.
Restore volunteer Shalimar Holderly said community members approached the Main Street organization with the dog park idea.
“It was a need the community raised,” she said, ticking off the reasons why the dog park is needed. “It will socialize people and dogs. The county has no dog parks. This will be safe for pets to run freely in a fenced-in area.”
Written and published by Sheryl Prentice firstname.lastname@example.org, Aug 13, 2021 – Image used for this blog post courtesy of Restore Avilla.