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Program graduates push toward creating dog park

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Bark Park founders are celebrated for their achievements with Leadership of Shelby County.
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By LUCY GAY - For The Shelbyville News

Recent graduates of the Leadership Shelby County program are continuing the fundraising process toward building a dog park in Shelbyville.

Leadership Shelby County graduates Adriel Pike, James Hough, Ryan Hansome, Gloria Combs, Lindsay Cox and Jake Ash, have come together to provide the city of Shelbyville with a community dog park.

“One of the things we talked about in our classes was development for our community,” Pike said. “So, we just thought that would be a great way for us to encourage more people, and young people, to want to come to Shelbyville.”

While Pike and other participants of her class will form the business plan along with other essential building blocks, both physical and idealistic, the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department will take over the project for long-term maintenance and upkeep.

Eventually, they hope to have two enclosures, separating large dogs from small dogs, plus additional space for further expansion. Dogs and owners will be able to gain entry into the park with an annual fee of $20 to $40 along with yearly updated vaccination records of their dogs.

In order to receive additional funds for the construction of the park, Pike has reached out to surrounding Boy Scouts troops. She believes that those thinking about completing certain projects may benefit from volunteering at and contributing to the completion of the Shelbyville Bark Park.

The Shelbyville Bark Park will be holding fundraising events in the upcoming weeks, such as the Pup Strut on Saturday and the Bark & Brew on June 23.

The Pup Strut will take place at Blue River Memorial Park and will include a 5K run or a 1.2-mile walk for dogs and owners. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the event starting at 9 a.m. Cost for admission will be $20 per person.

The Bark & Brew event will take place at the Riverfront Taproom in Shelbyville. There will be a silent auction, cutest dog contest, and a variety of foods. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the completion of the park.

Along with support from the community, the founders of the Shelbyville Bark Park are also participating in the Green Tree Plastics program of Evansville. In this program, students learn about collecting and recycling bottle caps to be made into benches. The park hopes to collect enough bottle caps to have four benches, all of which will have plaques recognizing their contributors.

More information regarding the Shelbyville Bark Park can be found on its Facebook page or at local fundraising events.