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Dog Park gets funding boost

Date: August 25, 2016

The effort of a Friendswood Boy Scout to build a dog park has received a $25,000 boost.


For his Eagle Scout project, Friendswood High School freshman Caden Fischer has personally asked residents, business owners, and Facebook readers of his page, “Friendswood Dog Park Eagle Scout Project,” to contribute to the dog park project. So far, he has raised more than $15,500.


“I’ve always liked pets. When I was considering what to do for my Eagle Scout project, my Mom and I heard lots of people wonder why Friendswood doesn’t have a dog park. That’s how the project got started,” said Fischer. 


Recently Fischer learned that Friendswood is one of five Southwestern cities that PetSafe® is awarding funding through their Bark for Your Park™ program, giving away more than $250,000 in dog park grants nationwide this year. Largely due to Fischer’s initial efforts, Friendswood is getting $25,000.


PetSafe® is a Tennessee-based company that develops pet behavioral, containment and lifestyle product solutions.


“We were extremely impressed with the amount of enthusiasm and dedication the community has shown for building a local dog park,” said Willie Wallace, CEO of Radio Systems® Corporation, makers of the PetSafe® Brand. “We are honored to be able to help the City of Friendswood build a dog park that the community’s members and pets can enjoy for years to come, while also assisting Caden Fischer to achieve his rank as an Eagle Scout.”


“When we learned that we got the grant, it was the first time that we realized we will definitely have enough money to complete this project. I was very excited,” said Fischer.


“Thanks to the $25,000 grant from PetSafe® Brand, the City can purchase fencing for the entire 1.6 acres of land, nearly doubling the size of the dog park, and purchase additional amenities sooner than originally planned,” said Heather Whitty, Recreation Manager for the City of Friendswood.


The dog park will be in Old City Park, closest to Merriewood Drive. Upon completion in 2017, it will have separate areas for large and small dogs, pet waste stations, water fountains for dogs and their owners, benches and shade structures.


This is the latest in a series of City of Friendswood public/private partnerships to improve and enhance city parks. “Numerous other Eagle Scout projects have been completed over the past few years, including the Disc Golf Course in 1776 Park,” said James Toney, City of Friendswood Director of Parks and Recreation. “We also have an agreement with all youth sports groups to complete a park improvement project each year.”


Maybe the most visible City-private partnership project is the Veterans Memorial, next to City Hall on Friendswood Drive (FM 518). “The Veterans Memorial is forever going to be a shining example, figuratively and literally, of what Friendswood residents do to serve their community,” said Friendswood Mayor Kevin Holland. “We are thankful for the Horecky family and others, who six years ago built the Memorial and donated it to the residents of Friendswood.” Earlier this year, as his Eagle Scout project,

Scott Shannon organized the people and collected the materials to clean the monument and give the landscaping a makeover.


Part of the City’s Master Plan for Parks is increased connectivity between parks.  Stevenson Park and Old City Park were linked earlier this year with the completion of new trails and the placement of a bridge over Cowards Creek.


“The connection between Stevenson Park and Old City Park is a big step,” said Tom Goodwin, a member of the volunteer Keep Friendswood Beautiful board and the Chairperson of the Parks Subcommittee. “Once the dog park in Old City Park is completed, the large number of people who currently walk their dogs in Stevenson Park will be able to cross the bridge to enter Old City Park and let their dog get even more exercise, off their leash inside the dog park fence.”


Goodwin said having the new dog park should reduce the number of pets on the jogging trail in Stevenson Park.


At Stevenson Park on Friday evening, September 16 at 6 p.m., Fischer and the City of Friendswood will be part of a ceremony receiving the $25,000 grant from PetSafe®. The evening will also include food trucks, puppy portraits, a concert, and a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new bridge connecting Stevenson Park with Old City Park.


Everyone, including dogs on a leash, is invited to the event.