Dog Lovers Asked to "Bark for Your Park" by June 1st

Dog Lovers Asked to "Bark for Your Park" by June 1st
Posted on 05/17/2011

Orland Park dog lovers are being asked to "bark for a park," helping the community in the PetSafe "Bark for Your Dog Park Contest." PetSafe, a national supplier of pet supplies, will award $100,000 for a dog park to the community with the most local support.

To become a finalist for the "Bark for Your Park" contest, PetSafe encourages community members to partner with local officials, animal shelters and welfare groups, animal professionals and pet owners to best demonstrate the city's enthusiasm and dedication to its pet community.

"A number of residents have asked for a dog park in Orland Park," said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin. "There is an enthusiastic group of residents spearheading Orland Park's participation in the PetSafe contest," the mayor said, adding. "Everyone is invited to show their support for winning financial backing for this community project."

A dog park is currently slated for consideration in the Village Capital Improvement Plan for the year 2016.

Based on the information provided about each nominated city, PetSafe will evaluate community support, availability of land and resources and overall impact to the city to select fifteen finalists.

At the May 16th meeting of the village's Recreation, Parks and Environmental Initiatives Committee, a preliminary site plan for the park was reviewed and permission was granted for staff to create a fundraising plan to help off-set costs to construct a dog park in the village's 192-acre Centennial Park. The full Village Board will vote on the matter at its June 6th meeting.

"Centennial Park was recommended because of its distance from residential areas, proximity to other park amenities, including the walking trails and because the village has land available there," said Trustee Patricia Gira, committee chair.

According to the Cook County Department of Animal Control, there are nearly 6000 dogs registered to Orland Park addresses in the 60462 and 60467 zip codes.

"That's about one dog per every ten homes in Orland Park," Gira said. "That, coupled with the number of pet supply stores --- about 25 within a ten mile radius --- shows that Orland Park is a dog lover's community," she added.

The village's Parks Department has identified several grants that may help the village move the project forward sooner. Staff has also researched other area dog parks that have been funded through donations from dog owners wanting this type of amenity in their communities.

"Orland Park has been nominated for the PetSafe Company's contest on www.BarkForYourPark.com" said Parks Director Frank Stec. "A number of people have already signed on to nominate Orland Park and show their support, listing the many reasons why Orland Park is a worthy candidate," Stec added.

The preliminary round for the PetSafe contest ends June 1st.

"We're inviting dog lovers from throughout the region to help Orland Park in the contest," Stec said. "We need nominations and votes from everyone --- individuals, civic groups, the media, local leaders --- by the end of this month," he added.

After June 1st, 25 finalist cities will be chosen to compete in the second round, which begins July 13th. Popular vote will determine the winning city on the PetSafe website beginning July 13th. During the last week of voting, the PetSafe contest leader board will go dark so that the winning community is surprised with the early August announcement.

"Orland Park is a well-rounded community with a variety of amenities for our residents," McLaughlin said. The mayor added, "Many dog lovers consider their pets part of their families. Winning this contest would offer an opportunity to establish a safe, enclosed area where dogs could socialize and exercise off leash and could be a wonderful addition to Orland Park."