The dream to establish Corsicana's very first two-section Bark Park, a place where dogs of all breeds and sizes could run and play to their heart's content, is still an ongoing goal for the Humane Society of Navarro County. While residents and their pets still have not been able to benefit from that new play area, the desire for the park has endured, even if plans have changed.
Marsha McAlister, President of HSNC, says she still wants the Bark Park realized. After consent for the park was given by the Corsicana City Council in 2015, with the location planned for Jester Park, the non-profit organization hadn't been made aware that costs for a parking lot with required handicapped access, including an all-surface sidewalk, were going to be factored into the finalized costs.
Park plans had to change to offset the additional costs, which included looking for alternate locations. One of the most evaluated locations has been Corsicana's downtown area, due to the growing number of residential lofts and already established all-access parking. With the increase of pets downtown, yet nowhere for them to socialize and play, McAlister recognizes the need for a pet-friendly location in Downtown Corsicana.
“It's hard to walk your pet for exercise, to say nothing about their physical needs, downtown,” MacAlister said.
The prospective new area would be just off of Beaton Street. Currently, McAlister is looking at logistics such as park size, sectioning out areas for large and small breed dogs, and fencing costs, which is one of the pricier construction factors.
The Humane Society is still accepting donations for residents who would like to contribute to the Bark Park's completion. The Humane Society of Navarro County can be contacted at 903-875-1060 or email@example.com.
McAlister says that the City has remained supportive of the overall project, with plans to gift previously used fire hydrants to be refurbished for the venue's canine guests.
Last year, Humane Society costs for spaying and neutering dogs and cats averaged $89,000, utilizing fundraiser donations to compensate for costs. An estimated 800 to 900 animals were spayed and neutered last year. As much as McAlister would like to do a dedicated fundraiser for the dog park, raising money for spay and neuter needs remains the higher necessity.
Finances raised for the dog park are also donation based, and is not a city-funded project. Since 2015, about 70% of the necessary goal for the Bark Park has been reached, with those funds being earmarked and placed within its own individual bank account restricted specifically for the park, and cannot be used for any other purpose.
As part of the initial fundraising efforts, residents can purchase a four by six inch plaque for $50, or a eight by ten inch plaque for $300. An inscription will be etched into the plaque to represent and honor beloved pets past and present, and a folder still sits on McAlister's shelves that holds every donated inscription.
“The plaques are going to be cool,” McAlister said. “I've had one done for my dog, and it's been in its little envelope so that it doesn't get scratched.”
“I definitely want to see this happen,” McAlister said. I truly think this is going to happen. It just takes time, and it takes the money to do it. And our main focus here at the Humane Society is spay and neuter. It takes a lot of money for spay and neuter.”
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