Park board approves dog park

Published 10:37 am Thursday, September 8, 2011

Austin’s canines may soon have a place to roam — at least on paper.

The Park Board unanimously voted to recommend an area at the bottom of Second St. SE for the location of an Austin dog park. City Council members will vote on whether to approve the location Sept. 19.

Mike Schatz, S.P.A.R.K. (Start a Park for Austin’s Respectable K-9s) co-coordinator, said he is pleased with the proposed location. The land is located near a parking lot at the bottom of Second St. SE, across from the Veteran’s Pavilion.

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“We think that’s an ideal place for the park to be,” Schatz said. “It seems pretty isolated. There won’t be much opposition, if any, because it’s away from the houses.”

Schatz said S.P.A.R.K. members will begin fundraising for the dog park once City Council approves the location. S.P.A.R.K. is composed of area residents hoping to bring a dog park to Austin; the group plans to fund a portion of the project to keep costs low for the city.

Although nothing is set in stone, the park would likely be surrounded by a six-foot fence. There are trees for shade and restrooms and drinking water available across the street at the Veteran’s Pavilion, too, Park and Recreation Director Kim Underwood said.

Schatz said S.P.A.R.K.’s goal is to raise about $25,000, which would cover the cost of the fence and some upkeep and maintenance costs, too.

“It shouldn’t interfere with anybody,” he said. “And S.P.A.R.K. is paying for the fence, so I really hope the (City Council) does something.”