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Feature Story

April 2017


Grants Available to Boost Dog Parks

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

New Aquatic Management Program Aims to Improve Safety, Efficiency - April 2017

16 Cities Nationwide to Receive Park Improvement Funding - April 2017

Study Confirms: People Pee in Pools - March 2017

Volunteers Get Hands-On History Experience in Virginia - March 2017

Park Hop Inspires Park Usage - March 2017

National Health Campaign Reaches 228,000 Youth in Three Years - March 2017

Outdoor REC Act Signed Into Law - February 2017

Happy 125th B-Day B-Ball! - February 2017

Study Shows Majority—Even Athletes—Are 'Overfat' - February 2017

Gym-Goers Like YMCA Best; Planet Fitness Winning Market Share - February 2017

Georgia State Park Celebrates Its Dark Sky Status - January 2017

Texas Tech Focuses on Functional Fitness - January 2017

Preventing Pool Closings - January 2017

Majority of U.S. Households Visit Attractions - January 2017

City of Henderson Awarded for Water Safety Programs - December 2016

Grant Brings Outdoor Fitness Area to Park - December 2016

Alliance Recommends Actions to Improve Kids' Activity Stats - December 2016

Retractable Enclosures Help YMCAs Cut Costs, Boost Membership - November 2016

Huge Project Seeks to Rebuild Monarch Habitats - November 2016

Report: Camping More Popular Than Ever - November 2016

ACSM Predicts 2017 Fitness Trends - November 2016

CDC: More Than One-Quarter of 50-Plus U.S. Adults Don't Exercise - October 2016

Park District Recognized for Collaboration Efforts - October 2016

Americans Support Increased Local Funding for Parks & Rec - October 2016

High School Sports Participation Up for 27th Consecutive Year - October 2016

National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years of Successful Partnerships - October 2016

Study Shows High Obesity Rates Among Student Athletes - September 2016

Forest Service Celebrates 100-Year-Old Campground - September 2016

Study Shows Artificial Turf Composition Influences Injury Prevention - September 2016

Study Shows Artificial Turf Composition Influences Injury Prevention - August 2016

Council Announces Release of Second Edition of Model Aquatic Health Code - August 2016

Study Finds Seniors, Women Less Likely to Use Parks - August 2016

Level Up Your Park With Pokémon Go - August 2016

Research Shows Light Pollution's Impact on Night Sky - July 2016

Trail-Oriented Development Eases Congestion, Encourages Activity - July 2016

Nonprofits Aim to Boost Inclusive Fitness Opportunities - July 2016

Research Shows Benefits of Nature for Older Adults - June 2016

Destination Play Comes to Draper, Utah - June 2016

New Report Breaks Down the Data on City Parks - June 2016

Virtual Reality, Immersion & Interaction Lead Amusement Park Trends in 2016 - June 2016

National Leaders Team Up to Promote Physical Activity Plan - May 2016

Growing Economic Confidence Means More Visitors for Attractions Industry - May 2016

SHAPE America Recognizes Just Dance School of the Year - May 2016

Surgeon General Visits Gregory Gym in Austin - May 2016

Are States Dropping the Ball on Keeping Kids Active? - April 2016

U.S. Masters Swimming Campaigns to Reduce Adult Drowning - April 2016

Grants for Urban Outdoor Recreation Available - April 2016

Physical Education Program Grant Competition Opens - April 2016

By Dave Ramont

Maybe your community is going to the dogs. The recent National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Association, tells us that the United States has over 54 million dog-owning households. And not surprisingly, off-leash dog parks have expanded by nearly 90 percent since 2007. And now, PetSafe Brand is promoting their Bark for Your Park grant-giving program, which helps communities build, improve and maintain off-leash dog parks. PetSafe has funded more than 50 parks across the United States through the program since 2011.

Tracy Mulder, marketing manager for PetSafe Brand, said that since launching the program, they've witnessed entire communities uniting to build their dream dog park and work together toward a common goal. "For us, the program is all about finding those enthusiastic communities that encourage responsible pet ownership with the desire to develop more dog-friendly spaces across the nation."

Indeed, dog parks provide excellent opportunities for dogs to socialize and exercise, which are two major factors in reducing behavior issues in canines. And it's been shown that dog parks help reduce the number of pets euthanized for behavioral reasons, as well as increasing pet adoption numbers.

PetSafe Brand develops pet behavioral, containment and lifestyle product solutions. And now, like last year, their grant program will award 25 communities a total of $275,000 in grants. This includes five New Park Awards valued at $25,000 each; 10 Park Makeover Awards valued at $10,000 each; and 10 Park Enhancement Awards valued at $5,000 each. Communities and parks and recreation officials can submit a grant application at http://petsafe.net/barkforyourpark beginning on May 1 and running through June 30. An internal committee will review the applications, with PetSafe Brand announcing the chosen communities in September. A combination of funds, as well as commercial-grade dog park equipment will be awarded to grant recipients.

In 2016, the town of Friendswood, Texas, received one of the $25,000 New Park Awards. Their dog park project had been grounded for several years by a lack of funds, until a high school freshman named Caden Fischer took on developing the park for his Eagle Scout project. Through a variety of fundraisers, he helped raise $11,000, which was enough to make the Friendswood dog park a reality when combined with the PetSafe grant.

"The original plan for a small .75-acre dog park has grown into an almost two-acre dog park, complete with large and small dog spaces, agility equipment, a washing station, and splash pad, which is so much more than we could have ever dreamed of," according to Heather Whitty, recreation manager for the City of Friendswood.

PetSafe Brand is also launching National Dog Park Day on May 6, 2017, in conjunction with this year's Bark for Your Park grant-giving program. This annual event will encourage the gathering of communities and pet owners to celebrate their pets, learn about adoption, and meet and socialize with their neighbors. PetSafe will hold an event on May 6 in Knoxville, Tenn., to recognize National Dog Park Day.

More information on the Bark for Your Park grant program or getting involved with National Dog Park Day can be found at http://petsafe.net/barkforyourpark.


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