Longview canines gave the city’s new dog park two paws up as they enjoyed some off-leash time at the grand opening of Stragent Dog Park on November 12. The park, located at the Paul G. Boorman Trail, includes separate, off-leash, fenced areas for small and large dogs to exercise and socialize. The fenced area for large dogs is approximately 7 acres, and the small dog area is approximately 2 acres.
KSA Engineers, Inc. had a hand in the design of this much-anticipated pooch playground. After completing the design work for the Boorman Trail, engineers with KSA met with the City staff to discuss the general arrangement of the dog parks. Using the survey data from the trail project, KSA provided layout exhibits showing the proposed locations and fencing alignment for each of the dog parks. KSA then provided a rough grading exhibit for the large dog park, along with exhibits showing the locations for subsurface drains. KSA was responsible for setting alignment stakes for the fencing of both parks.
"It's really fantastic to watch dogs enter the park and see how excited they are, as well as their owners," said Kristen Ishihara with Longview Dog Park Inc. who has been working on the project for more than two years. "The purpose of the park is to provide an off-leash area where dogs can receive sufficient stimulation, both mental and physical. It also provides an area where dogs and owners can socialize. Ultimately we hope and expect that this park will promote responsible dog ownership by providing an outlet for exercise that an owner might not previously have had, as well as exposure to other dog owners and their knowledge."
While the City has provided the land and some in-kind services, the funds and organizational efforts for the Stragent Dog Park have been provided by the nonprofit organization, Longview Dog Park, Inc. A significant portion of the donations were provided by the local Stragent LLC and Stragent Operating Foundation.
According to Director of Community Services Laura Hill, “What is special about this particular project is how quickly it developed from an idea to reality. The volunteers with Longview Dog Park Inc. worked closely with City of Longview staff on the basic concepts, but it was their efforts to do research, fundraising, and grant-writing that helped make this possible. ”
"We anticipate that by having this resource for dog owners, we can demonstrate the emphasis that East Texans place upon pet ownership — that animals are not just property but companions and deserve treatment as such," Ishihara added. "We also hope that evidence of this emphasis will lead to less dogs being surrendered to the shelter, more spaying and neutering, etc."