BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – After a year of lobbying to local government, The Paw Park Project and Union County Government have joined forces to bring an off-leash dog park to the community.
The park will be located across from the farmers market on 148 Old Smokey Road, and work has already begun. Union County Farmers Market expects the area to open in April.
The Paw Part Project has partnered with Tyler Veney and the Leadership Union Team for fundraising. Residents can reach out through the Paw Park Facebook page or email if they need more information about donations and volunteering. Those interested in contributing can expect a GoFundMe account to go up. The Paw Park acts as a 501c, so all contributions will be tax-deductible. The county government has also promised to match all donations.
Pet owners also have the option of purchasing a tree, bench, or memorial plaque for their past loved ones.
The announcement stated, “As you saw work is already underway a BIG THANKS to Lamar Paris and our county officials for hearing the needs of our community and making this project a reality.”
The park will be developed in three phases. Phases one directly relates to getting the park up and running: fencing, signage, water, dog waste stations, building a pavilion and clearing a walking trail.
Phase two “will be implementing a few pieces of agility equipment, planting some trees and installing benches.”
Phase three also pertains to agility equipment and possibly a splash pad.
However, all phases are subject to reaching fundraising goals.
The park will meet American Kennel Club standards of one acre of property with a four- to six-foot chain-link fence and double gate entry
The boy who made it possible
Gracian Sabo took the lead on this community service project and formed the Paw Park Project. He even started a petition to help secure grant funding if necessary. It garnered 486 signatures.
His boy scout troop joined in and pledged to support the project if it moved forward.
During the Paw Park Project and Sabo’s journey to build an off-leash dog park, they learned that the county created the fenced-in space in Meeks Park for dogs to rest. A true dog park never existed within the county.
Images courtesy of the Paw Park Project.