The grants were awarded through the Tennessee Dog Park Dash grant program, an arm The Boyd Foundation, led by Randy Boyd and his wife, Jenny. Rand Boyd is the founder of PetSafe and former commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. After running a national dog park foundation for seven years, the Bark for Your Park program, the Boyds decided to tailor a three-year grant program to make sure Tennessee’s communities were also getting dog parks.
For the next three years, The Boyd Foundation will commit $1 million in grants for community dog parks, awarded in $25,000 increments. Each year, a $100,000 grand prize will also be awarded.
Jonesborough, Erwin Kingsport, Greeneville and Bristol were all among the $25,000 recipients.
Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley said the town is looking to put its park near the animal shelter, off of Erwin’s Linear Trail. She said the town’s officials are excited to get started on the park and already have a few ideas of what it will look like.
“It’ll be a focal point for our town and our county, I think it’s going to be a very welcome addition to our community,” she said.
Jonesborough’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to apply for the Tennessee Dog Park Dash and the Bark for Your Park grants at its June meeting. Mayor Chuck Vest said the town is still waiting to hear back about the national Bark for Your Park grant, but said the town is prepared to build a dog park on the Rosenbaum property with the $25,000 grant.
The current design of Jonesborough’s park shows the plot divided into two fenced-in areas, one for large dogs and one for small dogs, complete with water stations, shelters and wading pools.
“It’s going to allow us to set up a park many have asked for at no cost to our taxpayers,” Vest said. “It’s good news for dogs and dog lovers.”
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