02/01/12  A local group of canine enthusiasts have banned together and formed the “BOW-WOW Friends” committee.

During a meeting on Jnauary31, they discussed a number of topics on the construction of a ‘dog park” within Centennial Park. Plans are to erect the “dog park” east of the Freyman Pavilion.

The group is hoping to raise the needed $18,000 to build a fence 6 feet high, 100 feet wide and 300 feet long to enclose dogs that visit the park. It would be an area where dogs could run free, although their masters would need to stay by the fence and monitor their dogs.


The group will be sending out their first plea for donations on Wednesday. Those donating $200 or more will get special recognition on the park digital signage and special bone pavers placed in front of the “dog park”. An anonymous donor has offered to match any donations dollar-for-dollar.

Plymouth Park Director Mike Hite will be submitting a grant application to the Marshall County Community Foundation as well to help with the fencing project, water fountain, card reader and amenities associated with the over- all project. According to Hite, the “dog park” is a part of a 5-year plan for the park.

Committee Member Max Hines said, “This is for responsible dog lovers.” He added, “Our goal right now is to show people we’re serious.” Hines along with other members have visited a number of “dog parks” in other cities to see first hand how they operate and what rules may need to be put into place before opening.

Hines said some of the rules could be that dogs are non-aggressive, females could not be brought to the park while in heat, and dogs must have updated licenses.

Kevin Huff, committee member, also suggested an area for smaller dogs. He said, “Smaller dogs are sometimes more aggressive then big dogs.” “It would be very hard to ban a breed.” Huff said.

Hite said non-compliance with the rules of using a completed “dog park” would be handled in the same manner as any other disruption within the park. He said that they do hire police security in the summer months to provide a safe place for area residents.

Two members of the group, LuAnn Evans and Gwen Calvert, are among the strongest supporters. Both Evans and Calvert used the theme of the “dog park” as their project to complete their requirements for Marshall County Leadership Academy.

Sue Huff, who is also on the committee, said, “This is an ongoing committee.”

According to Hite, the Park Board was approached by Evans and Calvert in November of last year and given full approval to proceed with fundraising plans.  Hite said, the “dog park” will be built from grants and donations. No tax dollars will be used to build it.”

Carol Anders Correspondent