By Nick Beversdorf
Out at the MARC, nestled in back and to the southwest of the softball fields, is a fenced-in area that allows you to unleash your canine companion and let them run free.
Known as the Merrill Dog Park, this area was developed three years ago and although the facility is functional, it still needs improvements and work to make it a truly top-notch dog park.
A group of residents have come together to form a committee called “Friends of the Dog Park,” who work with Dan Wendorf at the MARC to raise funds for amenities as needed.
“The dog park is really great, but we need many more things to make it a truly great dog park,” comments Friends of the Dog Park event coordinator Crystal Sanders. “We would like things such as a water pump or water barrels for the dogs, concrete in the entrance, lighting, a sheltered area and a swing set outside the park. Since Merrill is known as the ‘City of Parks,’ we feel that our dog park should live up to that standard.”
Thankfully, just recently a portable water barrel was won at auction and a trailer was donated to the park. With the portable water tank mounted to the trailer, fresh water can be brought from the Smith Center to the dog park as needed.
The park has also experienced unexpected problems relating to the weather; temperature changes have caused the fence to slowly sink into the ground and has also caused the beautiful benches created and donated by Prairie River Middle School to slowly shatter and break.
Friends of the Dog Park originally had a huge fundraiser event scheduled for Apil, but unforeseen circumstances prevented it from happening and the event has been rescheduled for September.
“The original plan was to have a large fundraiser for Saturday but unfortunately that didn’t work out,” adds Sanders. “Many businesses were not able to make that date we had not been able to secure a lot of the items for the fundraiser like raffle items, food, kennels and other things. By pushing the date back we hope this will give people more time to plan and get ready for the fundraiser.”
A full list of items needed for the fundraiser and also a full list of the amenities needed for the dog park can be found on Facebook, search for “Merrill Dog Park Friends” and click on the “Files” section to download the full list. Here you can also ask questions or post related content to the group wall.
“A lot of people seem to be unaware that we even have a dog park, or think that it’s no different than any other park in Merrill,” adds Sanders. “We want people and their canine companions to frequent the dog park and get involved with it. The more people we get interested in this dog park the more easily we can raise money for it.”
For more information regarding the group and the fundraiser, contact event coordinator Crystal Sanders at CSandersgirl@gmail.com. For more information about the dog park itself and amenities needed, contact Sanders or Parks and Recreation Director Dan Wendorf at firstname.lastname@example.org. For other members’ contact information regarding the dog park committee, go to the aforementioned Facebook Page under the files section.
The Facebook group can be accessed at this link: Merrill Dog Park Friends.