By Bob Lewis
Supporters of an off-leash dog park for Rockwall have gotten a lot closer to realizing their dreams. On December 20, the city council voted unanimously to support a proposal by this year’s Leadership Rockwall class to convert an underused portion of Harry Myers Park to a fenced-in area where dogs can run free and learn to socialize with other dogs and people.
In a presentation before the council, “Tropical John” Thomas outlined plans to build the facility using private donations of money, labor and materials. The land is already owned and maintained by the City of Rockwall Parks Department. Parks Director Brad Griggs told the council that upkeep and maintenance of the dog park would be no additional burden to his staff and that he was happy to see the area put to good use.
If all goes as planned, the group expects to dedicate the completed park in May of 2011, in time for the graduation ceremony of the current Leadership Rockwall class. Details have been worked out with Rockwall PAWS, a local animal advocacy group, to accept tax-deductible donations to fund fencing, rest areas, grass and receptacles to deal with the inevitable canine “leave-behinds.”
Located just north of the activity center and pool at Harry Myers Park, the 1.3 acre area will include everything one would expect of a quality dog park including a double-gated entry with wash stations and separate play areas for small and large dogs. Users will be required to observe rules which have become standard for off leash areas nationwide. Dogs must be accompanied by their owners and wear current license and rabies tags. Owners of overly aggressive dogs or females in heat will be asked to leave.
During his presentation, Thomas showed a map of existing dog parks in the Metroplex. Conspicuously absent were any facilities east of White Rock Lake in Dallas. “A Rockwall dog park would fill a void in our area, and be a big draw for dog lovers for whom a drive into Dallas would be too much of a haul.”
Tax deductible donations can be made through the Rockwall PAWS website at www.rockwallpaws.org/donate/ or by calling 972-310-1354. For sponsorship opportunities call Elizabeth Marsh at 972-880-5709, or Janis Grieser 972-345-3572.