L. Steve Castlen Realtors announced today that they will be the naming sponsor for the new Owensboro Off-Leash Dog Park.
“As a company, we need to give back, and this is one way we’re able to do that. We’ve taken care of families in this community with their homes; now we’re going to take care of their pets, too,” Steve Castlen told Owensboro Living this afternoon, explaining the thought process behind securing the naming sponsorship for the Off-Leash Dog Park.
Steve is admittedly a “dog guy” and has been instrumental in the project, along with Committee Chair, Patti Martin, and Sandy Deyton, who edits the Facebook page and coordinates fundraising events.
But the decision to sponsor the dog park was not a unilateral move, Castlen said. “Our realtors all agreed that this was a great way to support the community, and they all seem excited.”
The major contribution brings the longtime dream much closer to becoming a reality. “Our goal is for the mayor to cut the ribbon on the dog park this year,” Castlen said.
According to Owensboro Parks Director, Amanda Rogers, Owensboro City Commissioners unanimously approved to maintain the park once it’s established. That operating budget has been approved, pending the committee can raise the money needed for major installation expenses, namely fencing, shelter houses, benches, and possibly restrooms.
OMU has agreed to donate the cost of running water to the proposed property, which is an 8.6-acre green space along the Greenbelt that already belongs to the city. The area is just behind the Heartland subdivision on 54, behind Meijer.
Plans call for a fenced-in area with three chutes or dog runs. The short-term vision includes fencing, benches, trash receptacles, fountains for owners and pets, dog waste receptacles, and signage. The long-term vision includes restroom facilities, shade structures, dog agility features, planted trees, and spray features.
Rogers cited the 2012 master plan study, which was conducted by an outside party. In that study, the dog park moved up to #7 on the priority list. Dog Parks are a nationally trending topic for city parks and recreation departments. “There is so much support for this in the community, and we get more phone calls every day,” Deyton added.
“We want people that don’t have dogs to enjoy the facility,” says Castlen. “We want people to come by and let their kids and grandkids watch the dogs play and run.”
“This really is a wonderful partnership between some committed citizens that have a desire and want to see additional growth in the community and the City Commission, who have agreed to earmark this piece of property and take that expense on annually,” Rogers said. “That’s the best kind of partnership.”
The committee is now in the process of raising awareness and collecting donations. Deyton says there are several fundraising events coming up, including:
- Buffalo Wild Wings Fundraiser – Wednesday, August 3
A portion of sales that night will be donated to the Off-Leash Dog Park.
- Gone to the Dogs – Sunday, August 7
Each year, Combest Pool hosts a pet swim on the last night of the season. This year, a photographer will be there taking puppy photos with Scooby Doo. Admission to “Gone to the Dogs is $7 per dog and owners are free. A portion of those proceeds will also be donated to the Off-Leash Dog Park.
- Halloween-themed event. More details TBA.
For updates, visit the Owensboro Off-Leash Dog Park Facebook page.
Owensboro Living will keep you posted as plans develop.
If interested in donating, please contact [email protected].