Group raising funds for new city dog park

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BUCKHANNON — Members of the city’s dog park committee are raising funds so their furry, four-legged friends can roam free.
An offshoot of the city’s Animal Care and Control Board, the committee convened last Monday at the Public Safety Complex to discuss fundraisers aimed at coming up with enough cash to turn the dream of a dog park in Buckhannon into a reality. In order to break ground on the park — which may happen as early as this fall — the city of Buckhannon must raise approximately $8,000 to $10,000 to cover the cost of fencing as well as water and waste containers, committee members said at Monday’s meeting.
The new park will be located on a 1.4-acre parcel of land owned by West Virginia Wesleyan College adjacent to the riverwalk. Consisting of a fenced-in, off-leash area with plenty of water and waste disposal receptacles, the park is designed to be a place where canines can play and socialize in a safe environment, according to Joshua Hinchman, a member of the committee who crafted a brochure about park basics.
In an effort to see the park come to fruition, members of the dog park committee plan to march in the W.Va. Strawberry Festival Junior Royalty parade, slated for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18. They’ll have their dogs in tow and be carrying buckets to collect cash from parade-goers. Committee members also plan to set up a table at Festival Fridays — which commences June 2 — and give out baked dog biscuits in exchange for donations.
Finally, on June 11, the committee will host “Bark Bingo” at the Moose Lodge; doors open at 12:30 p.m., and bingo begins at 1:30 p.m. Prizes will include wares from Vera Bradley, Thirty-One, Pampered Chef, Initials, Inc., gift baskets, cash prizes and more. Advanced tickets are $15 for seniors and $20 at the door for general admission.
But you don’t have to wait to donate. The dog park committee has set up a website,, to collect donations for the park, committee co-chairs Maria Bray and Lisa Critchfield said at Monday’s meeting. Bray, who frequently walks her golden retriever Maxx around town, is excited for the dog park to open.
“I’m excited about this park coming together because my dog is not allowed to run free and this will give him an opportunity to socialize with other dogs,” Bray said. Committee members are also hoping the park provides a place where pet owners can connect, fostering a heightened sense of community.
To donate to the dog park project, send a check to the City of Buckhannon, 70 E. Main St., Buckhannon, WV 26201 with the words “dog park” in the memo line. 

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