Plainwell dog park should soon be a reality

By: 
Daniel Pepper

Plainwell’s effort to bring a dog park to the area is a success.
The fundraising effort raised enough money by a deadline to secure $20,000 in matching funds that will fund the construction sometime next year.
Community development manager Denise Siegel said, “The community just came forward.
“We also got donations from a lot of businesses in the downtown and in the industrial park.”
Several local businesses hosted fundraisers and organizers also collected cans to fund the effort.
The general plan is to put the dog park in Thurl Cook Park, with separate areas for small and large dogs, along with watering stations and other canine amenities.
The matching funds from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation came from both private donations and the city.
Donors contributed about $15,000 during the eligible period and Plainwell city council members voted to appropriate the rest.
“It made sense for the city to contribute that amount to get $20,000,” Siegel said.
The city council held a special meeting Thursday, Aug. 17, to decide whether it would make up the difference between the contributions and the goal. The council unanimously passed a motion to do so.
Also, the effort to establish the dog park had already raised about $1,600 before the MEDC grant’s time period began, so that amount would cancel part of the city’s contribution.
The dog park is also still accepting donations.
Siegel said the planning and design would be done over the winter and they should have a design by the spring.
The general plan includes the idea of adding things like benches and lighting to the park to make it a more well-used space overall.

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