|IMG: Cayce Sweeney, Aerial Impressions Imagery Solutions, LLC|
The Newport Dog Park - under the leadership, fundraising and volunteerism of the Newport Dog Park Committee - was moved from the previous location on Linden Ave. to its new fenced-in home located on a spacious parcel of property directly behind the Newport Branch of the Campbell County Library at 901 E. 6th St.
A major donation of $25,000 came from The Newport Foundation along with additional funding and donated in-kind services from the City of Newport. A total of over $60,000 was raised.
"The development of the new park is a great example of local government and the community coming together to work on a major improvement for the entire city," said Newport City Manager Tom Fromme."
The off-leash dog park features:
-Twice the space as the former park.
-Separate small dog area.
-Water fountain and plumbing.
-Easier access for vehicles and dedicated parking spaces.
-Community walking paths.
"The park is completely funded and ready to go," said Tim Appleton, an East Row resident who chaired the neighborhood's efforts to develop the park along with key committee members Bill Mackison, Elaine Pearl and Madison Farr.
"A tremendous amount of credit goes to the Newport Board of Commissioners, the City Manager Tom Fromme for seeing this vision and working collaboratively with me and the neighborhood, Assistant City Manager Larisa Sims for convincing the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to allow the city to use the land for the park, and Community Services Director Doug Roell for enabling and managing the process of developing the park." Tim said.
The East Row Historic Foundation donated $5,000 and neighborhood volunteers went door-to-door, soliciting donations and raising nearly $12,000 through the sale of personalized bricks that are installed at the park.
Other generous donations came from National Band & Tag Company of Newport ($5,000), Newport on the Levee and MedVet ($2,500 each), Ron and Monica Gardner ($1,000) and Jeff and Missy Richardson, Audrey Owczarsak, Tom White and NK Stone ($500 each).
The City of Newport's donated labor and materials include paying for and installing fencing, mulch, pathways, water lines, water foundations and landscaping. The city also re-graded the area while volunteers from the East Row provided labor.
"A lot of our local residents stepped in by not only donating and raising money, but also by helping get rid of the trash and overgrowth so we could open the area up," Appleton said.
An obelisk will also be installed, donated by Tim Roth of Roth Monument.
Appleton, a P&G retiree with consumer knowledge experience in the pet industry, became involved in developing the new park after learning that the old park was going to close.
The original park opened in 2012 and soon became a destination for pet parents of Newport and our surrounding neighborhoods. Due to its extreme popularity, the old park quicky became crowded and lacked an area for small dogs, the parking was inadequate and there was a tremendous amount of erosion.
"The infrastructure around the park was not sustainable with the significant increase of park patrons, leaving the city with little options but to close the park," Appleton said. "Tom Fromme's involvement and my determination to problem solve and find an alternate solution led to the development of this new parcel of land only 500 feet from the original Providence Park location."
“With an annual operating expense of $5,000 or more, fundraising is required to maintain operations of the park and pay for any future improvements”, Appleton said.
"Every dollar will make a difference and will go towards the Dog Park," Appleton said.
Donations are still being accepted via the online donation button at www.eastrow.org. and personalized bricks are still being sold at https://polarengraving.com/newportdogpark or their Facebook page.