BY KEVIN BONESKE
An ongoing effort to establish a dog park in the Rhinelander area has received a financial boost as well as a pledge of support from a company in the business of pet supplies and food.
Tina Werres, who noted she has been involved for 10 years in the dog park effort, appeared at Monday’s Parks, Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting, where she reported the project’s available funds are now around $12,000 after receiving an anonymous donation of $10,000.
Werres said different locations have been looked into to place a dog park, such as at Hanson Lake and Shepard Park, with no specific site decided on.
Generally speaking, Werres said a minimum of 3-5 acres of land would be needed to locate a dog park.
The problems with using the Hanson Lake site, committee chairperson Sherrie Belliveau pointed out, include being “nearly impossible to annex” to the city to become a dog park in Rhinelander. She also noted Shepard Park is being developed for uses such as kayaking.
Another committee member, Alex Young, said it would be easier for the city to approve a site for a dog park when supporters of the project would have the money available to put one in place.
“We can’t approve a site and let it sit forever,” said Young, who also suggested the possibility of using the former landfill site in the city, if that would ever would become available for future use as a park.
However, because of environmental concerns with the landfill site, committee members noted it likely would be at least another five years before that property could be used.
PETCO PLEDGES SUPPORT
While Werres spoke before the committee, representatives of Petco/Drs. Fosters and Smith were on hand at Monday’s meeting in support for the dog park project. Company merchandise manager Craig Catlin said Petco “wants to reengage” with the effort to locate a dog park in Rhinelander, alluding to the possibility the company could provide financial support and/or a location for the park.
Following the meeting, Werres said Petco officials want to meet in the future with supporters of the dog park to discuss what the company could do for the project.
“I know it’s going to be a good relationship,” Werres said of working with the company so that establishing a dog park could happen in Rhinelander.