DIXON – The Dixon Park District wants to unleash the power of volunteers to help keep its dog park open, and on Tuesday that plan got off to a good start.
About a dozen community members gathered for a meeting to discuss a plan to keep the park gates open.
The Park District was considering closing Park 4 Paws at the end of last year because of concerns with maintenance costs, users not cleaning up after their dogs, and the lack of people registering and paying the required fee.
With the hope of forming a volunteer group to help keep an eye on the park, which sits off of Cinder Road and North Washington Avenue past the soccer fields at Meadows Park, the Park Board decided to make improvements, including installing a solar-powered card reader for the gate and about 990 feet of new fencing.
That group of volunteers started to form at a meeting Tuesday, learning about the district’s expectations, including having a schedule where a volunteer spends an hour a day inspecting the park, and trying to reach a fundraising goal of $1,000 a year for maintenance and improvements.
“Volunteers are very crucial; that’s what makes anything work well,” said District Recreation Director Terry Shroyer, who’s spearheading the project with board member Rodney Frey.
For this year, the district is charging a $35 annual fee for in-district families with up to three dogs, and $50 for out-of-district users to use the park.
Those who register must provide proof of dog vaccinations for rabies, distemper, parvo and Bordetella, and they will then receive a key card to enter the park.
The new card reader is scheduled to be installed by the end of the month, weather permitting.
“The overwhelming support was great to see,” Frey said.
Call 815-284-3306, go to dixonparkdistrict.com or find the Park District on Facebook for more information.
Those interested in using Park 4 Paws must register with the Park District, 804 Palmyra St.