Dog park fundraising exceeds goal

The effort to raise funds for two off-leash dog parks in two Kenosha County parks has exceeded its goal.

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser made a public challenge to raise $25,000 to match the $25,000 in non-taxpayer funds for two dog parks in Kenosha County.

“In just five months, the public has raised $41,055.07,” Kreuser said. “I have been overwhelmed by the positive response from the public to have safe places for their dogs to run off-leash in Kenosha County.”

Mark Modory, a former county supervisor who has advocated for developing off-leash dog parks in Kenosha County for more than five years, said he’s amazed by the effort.

“The off-leash dog parks turned out to be more popular than I even imagined. The public really turned out to support financing these dog parks without it being taxpayer funded,” Modory said.

Helping to push the fund-raising over the top is a $12,500 donation by William Carlisle of Kenosha Animal Hospital, 6223 39th Ave. Carlisle is requesting naming rights at the Petrifying Springs Dog Park. The Highway and Parks Committee and the full County Board will be asked to vote on that request in coming weeks.

Mary Ellen Close of Salem earlier this year donated $12,500 for naming rights at the dog park that will be built in Randall near Bassett Park. She is naming the park to honor her father, who turns 90 years old this year. The County Board has already approved the Warren Close Bark Park.

The money raised by the public is being matched by $25,000 in non-taxpayer money received by the county under an agreement with Waste Management Inc., which operates the Pheasant Run landfill inParis, to provide an annual donation for county park development.

The fund-raising effort began in earnest in December 2009. It has been led by a citizen’s committee, the Kenosha County Dog Parks Planning Committee, which raised funds through pictures with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, an event at the 75th Street Inn, 26299 75th St., in Salem, donation jars at businesses throughout the county, and a number of other events and efforts.

Kreuser said all of the additional funds raised for the dog parks will remain segregated for use at the dog parks.

Now that the funds for construction of the two parks have been raised, the citizen’s committee will continue under a new name as Friends of the Kenosha County Dog Parks.

The committee is co-chaired by Modory, and Cathy Zamazal of Twin Lakes. The committee will be making recommendations to the county’s Highway and Parks Committee for amenities that might be needed at the dog parks. The committee also anticipates the need to continue fund-raising efforts to help pay for on-going maintenance needs at the dog parks.

Terry Wolf, wife of the late Dr. Jan Wolf, formerly of Wolf-Merrick Animal Hospital, 4415 52nd St. has also offered to donate a memorial brick patio for the Petrifying Springs Dog Park in memory of her husband. Wolf, who is a member of the Friends of the Kenosha County Dog Parks, will be selling engraved memorial bricks for the patio. More information about the memorial brick project will be available soon.

The next meeting of Friends of the Kenosha County Dog Parks will be at 6 p.m. on May 10th at the Kenosha County Center, 19600 75th St.


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