The project we are proposing is an enclosed Dog Park we are calling Joy Place at the River Walk. The River Walk is a developing natural setting park that provides the only public access to the Wind River in Riverton, with a one-mile paved walkway and picnicking opportunities. The Riverton Rotary Club has, in the past, been a part of the effort to develop this space where both visitors and locals might enjoy nature close to town. We built a large, 3-tiered brick/stone fire pit some years ago, where people can gather for campfires and large group (100ish) activities. We'd like to draw more visitors to this area on a more regular basis. Runners and walkers currently use the path, many with their canine buddies. The dog park would allow these visitors to spend more time in the area, while having a safe place to let their dogs off leash. It would also attract many more visitors to the area. There are no other dog parks in the city or surrounding areas.
It is our belief that Joy Place would encourage community goodwill and peace as people find a new way to socialize while experiencing the joy that dogs-at-play create. The park connects well to other assets that both tourists and locals can enjoy, including the county fairgrounds, heritage museum, the Wind River and the Rails-To-Trails walkway. As such, Joy Place would be another positive asset for developing the community. (Please see attached document for full story on community consensus-building, project timeline,etc.)
This project includes efforts from multiple entities throughout the community which we will be coordinating. The land for the Dog Park is provided by the City of Riverton. Engineering of the project is being provided, pro bono, as well as site and surface preparation (and boulder placement for a kids play area). Additionally, the project will also serve as an industrial teaching experience for students of the Wind River Job Corps.
This funding request, if granted, will cover the material costs of chain link fencing for two compartments (one for big and one for small dogs) of a 100' x 300' space with two double gated entrances. Club members and other volunteers will install the fencing. This project is foundational to other efforts already underway to provide water fountains, sponsored clean-up stations and other amenities to augment the park. We are currently requesting Placemaking Grant funds from the state, as well as a district grant from 5440.
Increased socialization and public health benefits of the area are primary benefits to this project as it will provide a safe place to let dogs run off leash, a nice gathering place along the river for tourists, families and groups (clubs to classrooms), and a modicum of security for other area assets. The City of Riverton will be maintaining the property (as it does now), including the doggy clean-up stations.
This project is another phase of a continuing effort for both the dog park and the larger park as a whole, and serves as the total dog park project's foundation. Success stories will be recorded on our Joy Place Facebook page, as other community groups and individuals augment the dog park with large projects (like covered areas, park benches and water fountains) as well as small projects (like agility and entertainment elements for the dogs, tree planting, photo backdrops, etc.) The larger projects mentioned are already in the early planning stages by other local community advocates. We expect those advocates to develop the augmenting projects over the course of the next 5 years.