Despite the best efforts of some local residents, Oak Ridge has not been included in a list of 15 finalists in a contest to win $100,000 for a dog park.
The first phase of voting in the contest, called “Bark for Your Park,” ended June 13, and the winning cities will be announced Aug. 3.
A list of the 15 finalists is available on the PetSafe website.
The Oak Ridge City Council passed a resolution on Monday supporting a grant application to PetSafe and making land available for the dog park if the city was selected.
In 2006, the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce asked the Recreation and Parks Department staff to consider building a dog park in response to a housing summit that found it was one of the most requested amenities, said Josh Collins, the city’s recreation and parks director.
A potential site was selected at Big Turtle Park.
“Since that time, the establishment of a dog park in Oak Ridge has been the goal of a growing segment of the population,” Collins write in a memo to City Manager Mark Watson.
It would give dogs a spot where they could enjoy the outdoors, exercise, and socialize without having to be leashed, Collins said.
A citizens group has organized a grassroots effort to bring the park to Oak Ridge, and they have vowed to push on, despite the city’s failure to make the list of 15 finalists.
“Well, we didn’t make it in the finals, but we are still going forward with our hopes for a dog park,” Sandra Walker Herrera wrote in a Facebook group called “We want a dog park in Oak Ridge!”
Collins said PetSafe, which provides feed, fencing, and training for dogs and cats, will award a $100,000 grant to one city and $25,000 grants to two others.