Dog park project progressing well

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Fencing is up and security gates are being built and the Rakaia dog park project is getting close to completion.

The new facility is located on unused land at the northern end of Railway Terrace West.

The area is 200m long and more than 20m wide and runs parallel to the railway line.

Two thirds of the dog park will be allocated for bigger dogs and the rest for smaller dogs.

Four security gates are currently being made, with two gates to be installed in each area.

The project is the brainchild of dog owner Debbie Renga, who approached the Rakaia Community Association about it some months ago.

With backing and some funding via the association, the project has built momentum and interest.

“It’s exciting to see things getting closer to reality and it’s great to also see dogs and owners already using the area.

“If all goes well, we hope to have an official opening in the next couple of months.”

Mrs Renga said Ashburton District Council had been supportive of the project and much of the cost of fencing had come from a generous grant from the Lion Foundation.

The community had also got behind the project, she said.

“We held a dog agility display and car show event at the Rakaia Domain in November and that raised over $5000 and drew over 200 vehicles.

“We also produced a dog calendar and most of the 200 calendars printed have sold and raised more funds,” Mrs Renga said.

Calendars had gone around the world and a 2023 calendar was planned, she said.

When the dog park is officially opened, a sign will also be revealed to show the names of major sponsors and backers of the community-driven project.

Water fountains, ramps and dog tunnels are also planned at the site in the future.

-By Mick Jensen