Pack of dog park proponents push for Grass Valley facility |

Pack of dog park proponents push for Grass Valley facility

A group of dog lovers think there is enough demand to create a dog park in Grass Valley, and they will meet at 5 p.m. today at City Hall to discuss it.

Although there is already a dog park area at Western Gateway Park in Penn Valley, “we want one in Grass Valley,” said Jeff Russell of Dogs Run Free, the group trying to establish it.

“There is demand,” he said. “That’s why there are 700 dog parks nationwide.”

A similar effort was tried in the city several years ago, “but it got pooh-poohed,” Russell said. “We’ve got 1,200 signatures (on a petition), so it’s something people want.”

The group will have to come up with at least half the funding, Russell said. “The city will shut the door if there is no maintenance fund” to keep it going, he added.

The dog park could stimulate tourism as a place where dog owners can bring their pooches on vacation, Russell said. If the group can establish a park where dogs can run free within the city limits, they’ll try next for a large park of about 20 acres in the outlying area later on.

“We need good expertise with fundraising and grant writing,” Russell said. “We need to establish something like an event or an auction” to get funds going.

The idea began in December when Russell was looking at his personal papers and realized something: “I had equity to create a dog park through my will, but then I woke up and said, ‘Why wait?'”

A park for dogs to bound around is needed for the animals’ health, Russell said.

“When dogs go to dog parks and socialize with people and other dogs, their behavior improves,” Russell said. “It’s a very stabilizing place to be.”

Dog droppings at the park could also be thrown into a new-technology methane generator, Russell said.

“Make it into a gas. It’s a win-win,” Russell said.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail or call 477-4237.

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