League City Dog Park Association opens new park

Arrington Linder, Features Editor


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Just recently the League City Dog Park Association opened the first League City dog park. The park is located at Lynn Gripon Park at Countryside. The grand opening occurred on November 12, three PM to six PM. Activities at the grand opening included “free popcorn, sno-cones, face painting, a petting zoo and more.” Owners could bring their pets for vaccinations and microchipping. On-site adoptions were also an activity if you wanted to adopt a new addition to your family. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony and K-9 demonstrations. Over 3,000 people were in attendance.

In July of 2016, the League City Dog Park Association was formed. The LCDPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating the first League City dog park and many more. As soon as the organization was formed, they “hit the ground running.” The host festivals and fundraisers all to raise money for the dog park. Currently they have raised over $50,000.

In the beginning, they had many petitions signed from the fundraisers to open the park. Getting citizens to sign was the easy part. Getting the city council on board was the hard part. People were “protesting” to have the park opened. Before the city council meetings, some citizens would bring their dogs and wait outside on the front steps. Before the association was formed, four previous groups had attempted to open a dog park and have failed. In addition to the petitions, many citizens emailed city council members to get the park opened and start building. After sending out a survey, the city learned the citizens most wanted facility was a dog park. The association asked for some money to be put aside for the park and surely enough, $150,000 was put aside!

“I attribute our success completely to our President. Sandra Kelly was previously the Galveston County Republican Chairman and used her political skills to work the City Council.” Melissa Kelly, Secretary of the League City Dog Park Association, said.

The park inside of the Newport Subdivision was offered to them to renovate into the dog park. The park was given to the city as the Homeowners Association could not afford to keep maintaining it. The city had done a study on the park and it showed a lot of crime occurring making it the perfect area for the park. After that they had about two weeks before the city would have a meeting regarding the park. The association went around the neighborhood collecting signatures and petitions. Almost 97% of them were for the dog park.

On February 14 of this year the city council voted and unanimously voted yes. The next day John Baumgardner, the city manager had bulldozers and workers ready to start building. In 269 days, the park was built.

The park has stairs, slides, training equipment, huge culverts for the dogs to climb on, picnic tables, benches and trash cans all for the dogs. When you enter the park, you will see bricks laid down in the concrete. Each one of these bricks represents a dog that has passed away. Families can purchase a brick and customize it for their dog.

“We all learned a lot throughout this process. When people disagree with you they don’t care about what would be good for others or the community as a whole. They stoop to all lows to try and defeat you. But for us, it wasn’t about these nay sayers. It was about the dogs. It was about the disabled and elderly owners who can’t walk their dogs. It was about the citizens who love meeting new people. It never made any sense for the opposition to tell us to go to other cities to enjoy their parks. Why not build something that draws people here? Why not encourage our citizens to play in our parks, shop at our pet stores and eat at our dog friendly restaurants with patios? This park has always been so much more than an economic benefit for the town. We have created a place of community and peace. We have so much planned centered around this park. From Adoption events, to Yoga in the park with your pup to free training days for dog owners, we have the opportunity to create an entire community around our four legged friends.” Melissa Kelly, Secretary of the League City Dog Park Association, said.