It’s hard to say who was having more fun at the pop-up dog park event in Mission: the dogs or their humans.
Volunteers for Mission: Dog Park said at least 200 canine participants and their owners dropped by to check out Pop Up Dog Park on Saturday in Broadmoor Park. Christina Farmer, chair of the dog park committee, said the goal of the pop-up dog park was to generate awareness for their goal to build a dog park in Mission.
Dogs chased each other and caught Frisbees and tennis balls while their owners enjoyed the fresh air and got acquainted with their neighbors. Nearly 600 people on Facebook indicated they planned to attend or were interested in the pop-up dog park event.
With a steady trickle of participants in both pop-up spaces, for small and large dogs, plus a constant stream of customers at each of the vendor booths, the event was a success, in Farmer’s opinion.
Nick Schlossmacher, a Mission councilmember on the Mission: Dog Park committee, said the pop-up event had great turnout and positive feedback from attendees.
“Even before the event, the social media presence we had generated a lot of good buzz,” he added, citing the 450 survey responses for a new dog park in which 95 percent expressed support.
Schlossmacher said he and the other volunteers plan to build a dog park using private dollars. He said they also hope to “continue the positive momentum that we’ve had from an event like this and give people an idea of what it would be like to actually have a dog park here.”
Next goals: Find a location and apply for grant funding
Farmer said the volunteer group’s next goal is to nail down a location and make plans for that location. Those confirmed details must be included when they apply for grant funding.
“One of the requirements for grants is (to) show how your community has supported you getting a dog park,” she said. “So this is proof, that yes, our community supports it.”
Nailing down a location is one of the biggest obstacles facing the volunteer committee, Schlossmacher said. In fact, Broadmoor Park is the frontrunner of potential sites for a dog park, although Mohawk Park and others are still in consideration. Broadmoor Park is ideal because it has plenty of parking, restrooms and other amenities.
“I think we can clearly see it’s going to get a lot of use because of the turnout we’ve had so far,” Schlossmacher said.
A dog park also creates a new gathering space outside of home, work, school, church and retail/shopping spaces, Farmer said, adding that dogs can facilitate conversations between owners.
“You talk to the same people every day with kind of the same interests and same values,” Farmer said, “but a dog park will bring everyone together, and what is a better conversation starter than, ‘What kind of dog is that?’ It’s sad that people in Mission are going outside of Mission to have those conversations with other people when we could facilitate that right in our own community.”