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Supporters have raised funds to help build the dog park in a variety of ways.
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Drying off a dog after SDPA's fund raiser dog wash, Stinko de Mayo.
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Some dogs came for a wash; others, for a doggy pedicure.
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Drying towels attest to the number of canines who came for an outdoor bath -- about 100 of them.
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The SDPA invited participants at the end of the St. Patrick's Day Color Run to paint a kiss on a dog poster while they learned about the dog park.
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A young painter leaves his "kiss" on the Blarney Dog.
After nearly seven years of work, Shreveport's first dog park is finally under development along the Red River near Stoner Avenue. A Cooperative Endeavor Agreement recently received the signatures of Shreveport's Mayor Cedric Glover and officials from the Red River Waterway Commission and the Shreveport Dog Park Alliance.
With the receipt of raised funds from SDPA, the city can begin action, according to Shelly Regle, Shreveport Parks and Recreation director. Her department can create a request for professional services from landscape design professionals, and advertise it for 30 days.
The Architects and Engineers Selection Committee (A&E) considers the proposals before the chosen individual or firm meets with user groups to hear "what people want and don't want" in the dog park. Staff has input as well, discussing irrigation, fencing, and other specifications for the city facility.
The construction design process itself may take about 30 to 45 days. After a public review of the design draft, the contractor incorporates additional input and creates construction drawings. Under ideal circumstances, a final design may be complete in 90 days, Regle said.
The park has been a long time coming, after it was first conceived in 2007. Supporters organized into the Shreveport Dog Park Alliance to raise funds and campaign for civic approval. They passed out brochures and spoke to service clubs. They washed dogs and held a variety of other fund-raising events. They looked at how other dog parks have been created, what their regulations are, and what to expect of doggie and owner behavior in a dog park.
Hopefully, all obstacles are out of the way. Soon Shreveport pooches and their owners will be able to run and play off-leash in fenced areas – one for big dogs and another for smaller canines – between the Stoner Boat Launch and the Stoner Avenue Skate Plaza.
By Lani Duke