DATE: March 9, 2012
CONTACT: Jennifer Reichelt, Deputy City Manager – 455-8417
GREAT FALLS, Montana – The unusually warm and dry winter has created higher use at the Pacific Steel & Recycling Trailside Dog Park this year. While the mild winter has been good for humans and their canine companions, it has caused considerable turf damage at the park. Starting this Monday, the dog park will be closed to the public on weekdays for turf repair.
After reviewing several options, the City of Great Falls and the Animal Foundation of Great Falls (Animal Foundation) determined that the best course of action was to close the dog park starting Monday, March 12 in order to repair the turf damage. During the closure, the park will be aerated and reseeded. The park will be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays during the repair project. Weather permitting; it should take approximately six to eight weeks for the turf to fully recover.
The City Commission approved the dog park in December 2007 and the Animal Foundation helped develop the park through the donations and help of the community. Since the park opened in July 2009 it has become one of the City’s most popular destinations for dog owners. The Foundation continues to work with the City to maintain the park, and recently installed the paved path in the large dog area and more agility equipment in the small dog area.
According to Stu Nicholson, who serves as treasurer of the Animal Foundation and also performs regular maintenance at the park, “The park closure is a short term inconvenience with a long-term benefit. We have to remember to look at the big picture and take care of our community amenities, like the dog park. Regular maintenance and repairs like these benefit all of us, including our pets.”
The dog park has become one of the most frequently visited parks in Great Falls and the City and Animal Foundation are committed to its on-going maintenance. The Animal Foundation and the City appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation during the closure. For questions regarding the Animal Foundation of Great Falls contact Stu Nicholson at 452-0393 and for questions regarding the repair project contact Marty Basta, Park and Recreation Director at 771-1265.
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