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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Soulard's Dog Park Aims for a Big Upgrade

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2016 at 6:41 AM

click to enlarge SARAH GIBSON
  • Sarah Gibson
Soulard’s Frenchtown Dog Park has a dream — a dream of becoming a "dream dog park," that is.

The dog park’s association hopes to raise $15,000 through a GoFundMe campaign, allowing for additional fencing and more water and waste stations throughout the park. The fencing would allow the park’s association to take full advantage of the 1.5 acres it owns, only one-half of which is currently fenced off and in use. 

And it's not just the people of Soulard kicking in. Nestle Purina has promised to match every dollar up to $7,500 through its Beneful Dream Dog Park Project. That project previously made over the Lucas Park Dog Park near Washington Avenue in 2015. 

“Being a non-profit we couldn’t say no. We were more than eager to partner with them [Purina] for the needed upgrades we’re hoping to do for the park,” says Sarah Gartland, the secretary of the Frenchtown Dog Park Association. “We’re hoping it will get us closer than we are now, which is not close at all.”

Nearly all of the association’s funding comes from donations, membership fees and fundraisers, Gartland says. It barely covers the operational costs of the park, making expansion impossible without outside help.

The park, located at 10th and Emmett in Soulard, will host a private service day today, May 19, in which volunteers from the community and Purina will work on landscaping projects in the park. Today also marks the official kick-off of the GoFundMe campaign.

Park memberships are $5 a month, with a required "donation" of at least $60 for one dog and $20 for each additional dog. Visit the park’s website here.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story contained inaccurate information about how much of the dog park is currently fenced. It is one-half, not three-fourths. We regret the error.

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