CRESTVIEW — Construction on the Crestview Bark Park may soon begin after years of planning and preparation.
April Meier, owner of Pawsitively Scrumptious on Main Street, was approved by the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Main Street Crestview Association to oversee the project. Meier said she began exploring the idea of opening a dog park in 2013 due to the Hub City’s overwhelming demand.
In 2016, Crestview resident Ted Simmons gifted the MSCA $62,000 for construction of the dog park within Twin Hills Park.
Meier raised funds through dog washes, raffles and a “Paws for a Cause” event where donors could purchase an engraved brick memorializing their pets that have died. The bricks cost $65 and will be displayed outside the park.
The fundraising efforts collected approximately $3,000. In 2017, the CRA agreed to put another $10,000 toward the project. Growth Management Director Teresa Gaillard said there has been a lot of donated time and maintenance for this project, which has saved on cost.
To offset the costs of maintenance and ensure dogs are properly vaccinated, the city plans to implement a membership registration process. The projected membership costs would be $25 annually for residents and $35 annually for non-residents, according to Meier. Members will receive a swipe card for park entry and Meier said she believes they will be more inclined to volunteer in park upkeep.
With the Crestview Public Works Department’s guidance, MSCA worked on the design layout and purchased all equipment. All of these aspects were presented to the CRA at their October meeting.
The original projected completion date was March 2017; however, the project was delayed because the city needed to ensure proper drainage was accounted for per EPA guidelines.
Callie & Co., a land planning and landscape architecture company out of Destin, designed the Bark Park.
The park will include 14 waste receptacles, six benches, two barrel obstacles, weave poles, two agility walks and two A-frame obstacles. The city is purchasing all of this equipment from Dog On It Parks.
A conceptual plan is complete with the layout of the park, but the plan is not released for construction yet.
According to Gaillard, the next step will be to tweak the plan based on requirements from the public services department, and then construction can begin.