Man’s best friends have place to run

Vicki Hood
Posted 5/9/23

New Guernsey Dog Park

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Man’s best friends have place to run


GUERNSEY—Area “Man’s Best Friends” now have a place of their own as Guernsey officially opened “Watch Dog Park,” a brand-new community dog park, two weeks ago.  After three years of fundraising, gathering and organizing donated funds, labor and materials, the project that began as a wish by former resident Pam McClure is now complete and another perk for area residents and visitors alike.

McClure said the idea became something she pursued for two primary reasons. After traveling with her own dog through several states, she realized a dog park had great benefits to people and pets away from home.  She also felt it would be a good addition to Guernsey after observing so many dogs running loose throughout the town on a regular basis.  She began asking local dog owners how they felt about such an addition and many seemed to be in favor.  “I determined it was something the community could use and maybe then we could get obstacle course items to give young and old a hobby and maybe some competition drive.  I really wanted to do something to bring young and old together for a community cause.”

Initially tagged “Operation Scooby Doo Park,” the project got started through a massive fundraising campaign that included a variety of raffles—everything from 50/50 cash to donated items such as quilts and artwork created by local residents.  A Facebook page kept everyone up to date on fundraising and activities that were held to bring in donations. One of the unique and fun projects involved rocks that were painted and hidden throughout town, each with a specific bounty amount that was donated to the dog park fund when turned in.  The funds donated for prizes and the bounties were provided by Riverside Storage and RV Park.

McClure said they also held a dog pageant and talent show during the Duck Daze celebration in the summer of 2020 to bring awareness to the public. It was an event she would like to see carried on annually. 

The Town of Guernsey provided the site for the park, a section measuring 160 x 320 feet which is located just north of Trail Ruts Golf Course on land that was previously part of the Old Timers Rodeo Grounds.  It is completely surrounded by a six-foot chain link fence and includes benches and a bag station.  It will be up to those using the park to clean up after their pets.   

Councilman Kellie Augustyn coordinated much of the construction phase once all of the materials and labor were gathered and negotiated. Both Augustyn and McClure stressed how much the project was truly a “community effort”. 

With construction underway, Gregory said she wanted young people involved in choosing an official name for the park.  “Rather than name it after someone, I wanted a child to come up with a name through some sort of project related to reading.”  A contest was promoted at the Guernsey-Sunrise Elementary School and the winning entry of

“Watch Dog Park” was submitted by Madison DeLaurentis.  Madison said her entry was inspired by The Boxcar Children book series, saying “She liked how the dog protected the family and made them happy.

As the weather gets better, it’s a sure bet that Watch Dog Park will become a popular place for dog owners (and maybe dog lovers) to congregate.  It is yet another great example of what can be accomplished for the common good. 

In a brief post McClure made regarding the opening of the park, she stated, “The dog park that I conceptualized in 2019, and starting fundraising for in 2020, is complete in my old hometown. This was a great town effort with so many people that kept it going to fruition as it was only a GIS rendition when I left. Kellie J Augustyn and Christa Rosera were the rocks that got it to the finish line and I am ever grateful. When communities work together you can do so much.”