Thanks to the work of the Morris Area Women of Today and donors, dogs and their owners will have a place to hang out in Morris.
A leash-cutting ceremony has been set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, at the new dog park in Pomme de Terre Park in Morris. The 200-by 175-foot park will have fenced-in areas for large dogs and small dogs. The dog park is across from the main portion of Pomme de TerrePark.
Marie Hansen said the Women of Today began to raise money for a dog park after realizing there was a need in Morris. “We had questions on Facebook and people had come to park board meetings and asked why the city didn’t have a dog park,” Hansen said. Hansen is a park board member and member of Women of Today.
When the city did not pursue a park, the Women of Today did.
The Women of Today raised about $20,000 from donors, those who contributed at fund-raising events and through grants, Hansen said.
The money was used to buy a fence and install it and for other items in the park, Hansen said.
The city of Morris did not contribute money to the park but it will continue mowing the land as it had before, Hansen said.
“A lot of communities our size...have dog parks,” Hansen said. A dog park is a place for elderly or the disabled who may not be able to walk their pets, she said.
It’s also convenient for college students who may not have big yards, Hansen said.
But a dog park is also a park for all dogs and owners, Hansen said. “It’s an excellent place for dogs to exercise and socialize and for people with dogs (to socialize),” Hansen said.
The park will include a couple of kennels, a tire toy, an old city of Morris fire hydrant and other features for the dogs.
The park will also have bags for dog waste pickup and trash can.
Dog owners in other communities will have various activities throughout the year for dogs and their owners, Hansen said. “We hope to continue that type of activity,” Hansen said.
The leash-cutting ceremony to open the park is one of those social activities. The evening includes a 6:30 p.m. 5k or 2.5k fun run or walk with or without dogs. Registration is at 5:30 p.m. The event also includes face painting and pet portraits from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dog owners can enter their dog in the prettiest pooch contest by the 6 p.m. deadline.
A free will donation hot dog meal is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
While there will be dog owners at the event, Hansen stressed the opening of the park is for everyone.