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Planned dog park in need of funds

Association still about $10,000 shy of required amount to start $59,000 project

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Members of the Warren County Dog Park Association are starting 2012 with hopes this will be the year they realize a long-sought goal of creating a park reserved for dogs and their owners.

The association remains about $10,000 short of what it needs to begin the $59,000 project, said Kelly Walker, manager and founder of the association. The 3-acre project in Eastham Park is entering its fifth year of preparations.

"We're still raising money," Walker said. "It's not like we've gotten any large amounts. We were hoping to get some grant money, but that hasn't happened."

Brandy L. Rosser, one of several county officials who has been working with the dog park group, said the project has also been slowed by a slight cost increase.

"We are still hoping we can have this under construction by the late part of spring,"
Rosser said. "The cost of the project did go up a little bit, but they didn't just want to put up fencing and call it a dog park.

"It's going to take a little bit longer than originally thought."

Rosser, the county's grants and special projects coordinator, said she hasn't given up on obtaining some money from the Petco Foundation after being turned down last year.

"Now that we've done some fundraising and shown the community does support the project, we're hoping it will get them to step up and contribute a smaller amount of money," she said of the foundation.

Planning and design work for the park has been reviewed and approved by county officials, including the Board of Supervisors.

The county has also promised to match the final $5,000 the dog park group raises to begin work at the site, Walker said.

In the meantime, the association is planning a "bark ball" formal fundraiser in February that Walker hopes "will put us over the top."

Those wishing to help the dog park should send their contribution to Warren County Park Dog Park Association 939 S. Marshall St., Front Royal, VA 22630.

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