Parks and Rec wants to fundraise to expand dog park

Published 8:39 am Thursday, December 7, 2017

McCrosky, Wheeler recognized as terms expire

The Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation is looking into setting up a fundraising account to raise money to expand the dog park at Millennium Park.

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“It wasn’t on a master plan, but, after further review — wow, wasn’t it a good idea that we added that to the park?” said Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Director John Drake. “It doesn’t take away from the other areas of the park and there wasn’t anything we were going to do with that land to the right of the creek.”

Drake introduced the expansion plan to board members Wednesday, which includes adding 25,000 square feet of fenced-in area on the side furthest from the existing water fountain. The plan also includes updating the interior fence with a maintenance gate, as well as putting a new gate on the new end. Drake said they may also look at adding a “front entrance area” on the new section, but that is not currently the plan.

He said the area would provide more shading than the existing dog park has and would allow for more dogs to use the space.

A “longtime friend of the park” has agreed to match donations raised for the dog park, he said. The unnamed person has agreed to give up to $6,000 for now. Board members approved using $1,300 from their Pride in the Park account toward the project.

Additionally, board members approved a request from Drake to look at setting up a GoFundMe or other online fundraiser, which the anonymous donor has agreed to match.

“We’ve never done it,” Drake said, but explained it was an area he was interested in exploring.

He said sometimes people don’t donate to the Parks and Recreation department because it is viewed as a “governmental agency,” and so they think “the government is going to take care of it.” On the flip side, he said, the department is asked what it is doing to help raise money.

Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation is a public agency that receives the vast majority of its funding through the governments of Boyle County and Danville.

Board members asked if the department was allowed to fundraise, which Drake said he believed they were. Some suggested speaking with joint ad hoc committee of Danville and Boyle County officials, or lawyers, in order to ensure it was allowed. Board member Alex McCrosky suggested looking at other online fundraising methods, such as a Facebook fundraiser.

Any additional funds raised, Drake said, would go toward adding tables, benches, an additional water fountain and other things in that area of the park.

The board also recognized members McCrosky and Heather Wheeler for their respective eight years of service as they prepare to leave the board.

“For the last eight years, Alex and Heather have been part of some really positive changes,” said Drake.

McCrosky and Wheeler thanked him and the other members.

“It’s vital to what we do as a community,” said McCrosky. “It’s been our pleasure.”

McCrosky was appointed by the Danville City Commission and Wheeler was appointed by the Boyle County Fiscal Court. The two seats will be vacated as of Jan. 1, 2018.

In other news, the board:

• established a field usage fee for Danville Independent Schools and Boyle County Schools of $1,000 each;

• discussed getting a fence up at the newly-installed volleyball courts at Millennium Park; and

• approved getting signs to put on memorial benches, to ensure that everyone knows who the benches are honoring.

Kendra Peek/
Danville-Boyle County Parks and Rec Director John Drake, left, and Board Chair Roger Ross, right, recognize Board members Heather Wheeler and Alex McCrosky for their eight years of service. Wheeler was appointed by the Boyle County Fiscal Court and McCrosky was appointed by the Danville City Commission. The two board seats are vacant as of Jan. 1, 2018.