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Warren receives grant for dog park

County given $2,500 by Anti-Litter Council

By M.K. Luther -- mkluther@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- A community organization will help build a proposed dog park in the county's newest public park.

The Front Royal-Warren County Anti-Litter Council has given the dog park project a $2,500 grant, according to county grants and project coordinator Brandy Rosser.

The proposed 3-acre dog park is a joint effort of the county and the Warren County Dog Park Association, according to Rosser. The park will be located in the new Eastham Park, near the town's Luray Avenue boat landing.

The grant money will be put toward specific uses in the dog park, Rosser said, such as pet trash and waste containers.

The dog park is intended to provide a recreational area for both dogs and their owners, Rosser said, and to encourage continued use of the whole park and its facilities and trail.
"We anticipate people using both of them," Rosser said.

The dog park also will allow owners to take dogs off leashes, and provide an opportunity for pets and owners to exercise.

"It makes better dogs for the community," said Kelly Walker, president of the Warren County Dog Park Association.

The association was started four years ago to find a site for an off-leash dog park, Walker said. The group is trying to raise $15,000 for the park's construction.

The parking lot for Eastham Park has been completed, and officials are planning several acres of green space with athletic fields and a walking and biking trail running along the Shenandoah River, Rosser said.

Plans call for a 1-acre area closest to the parking lot for small dogs, Rosser said, with an adjacent 2-acre park for larger animals.

The multi-use playing and athletic fields will be located closest to the already-built parking lot, Rosser said, allowing the public to access the fields without having to walk through the dog park areas.

The Warren County Dog Park Association has been working to raise money for the project within the community. The county also is pursuing grant money and funding for the park's overall construction, Rosser said.

The multi-use trail is being built as part of a Virginia Department of Transportation improvement project, Rosser said. County Parks and Recreation Department crews have been clearing trees along a half-mile span for the trail's construction. The final phases of the project should be put out to bid by the first of the year.

The park is tentatively scheduled to be completed in fall 2011, Rosser said.

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