Bangor dog park focus of renewed energy

Posted July 05, 2011, at 6:51 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Nearly a year after city councilors granted their approval, a grass-roots effort to create a dog park on a city-owned parcel on the waterfront is taking on renewed energy.

Joe Knox, one of the project’s chief organizers, said last week that while there has been little progress in raising the money needed to complete the project, that is expected to change soon because volunteers with strong fundraising skills have joined Bangor Area Regional K-9s, the group Knox founded to move the dog park forward.

Knox said the fundraising goal is between $20,000 and $30,000, a project budget that would allow volunteers to landscape and install fencing at the site and provide such amenities as lighting and water.

If the group is able to come up with the necessary funding, he said, the project

could be completed in the next year or two.

Knox and fellow BARK members have been lobbying the city for permission to create a dog park for well over a year.

If the group’s Facebook page is any indication, the concept of a dog park has a lot of appeal in the area. The page has attracted nearly 500 friends.

Last summer, the city agreed to donate use of a parcel at the end of Dutton Street behind Hollywood Slots but will retain it as an option for development in the future, according to a story published last August in the Bangor Daily News.

Knox said he and others are still discussing ideas for fundraising events, but in the meantime donations can be made directly to the city of Bangor, which has set up a special account for dog park funds. Parks and Recreation Director Tracey Willette, who has been working closely with the group, said donations should be sent to the Parks and Recreation Department.

Knox said area residents who want to help move the project forward can attend BARK’s next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at Bangor Parks and Recreation’s Main Street headquarters.

One reason the dog park isn’t being developed this summer is that the parcel is being used as a vehicle storage area for a construction company working on repairs to the Veterans Remembrance Bridge. In exchange for the use of the parcel, the company is going to provide labor or other support toward the dog park effort.

Volunteers can contact BARK through its Facebook page.