By Lisa Britton
For the Baker City Herald
Dog owners in Baker City are in the planning stages of developing a park for dogs near Sam-O Swim Center, on property owned by Baker City.
"There are approximately 1.3 acres there that we can utilize," said Tricia Wood, who is leading the project.
While still in the planning stage, Baker City has been entered into a contest to win $100,000 for a dog park.
It is called "Bark For Your Park" and is sponsored by Petsafe. People can vote every day - once on the website www.petsafe.net/barkforyourpark/ and once on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/PetSafeBrand.
Voting continues through May 31. Then, the top 15 towns will be selected for the second round which requires a video submission.
The grand prize is $100,000, and four runners up will receive $25,000 for dog park construction.
Wood said that in addition to votes, they also need letters of support from the community. A template can be downloaded on Baker City's page on www.petsafe.net. Click on "Community Support."
Wood started the project after she adopted a yellow lab puppy, who she describes as a high-energy dog who needs to expend energy.
She has visited dog parks in the Idaho cities of Nampa and Meridian.
"Each time my dogs had a blast interacting with the other dogs and came back mellow and refreshed," she said. "I found that the interaction between dog owners was also a great benefit."
She has created a Facebook page - Baker Dog Park - to keep the community updated on the progress and to find others interested in developing the park.
She has been researching amenities for the park.
"My main goal is to create a safe environment for dogs to learn to socialize," she said.
Wood said fencing is a big part of the design to keep the canines contained and also designate separate areas for large dogs and small dogs.
Wood already has a list of proposed rules for the park, as well as supplies that will be needed.
Dog Park Rules:
Park users and dog handlers assume all risk related to park use - enter at own risk.
You must clean up after your dog
All dogs must be current on vaccinations including Rabies
Females in heat
Puppies younger than four months
No children younger than 13 allowed without adult supervision
No aggressive dogs
No food, treats, or glass
List of supplies that will be needed:
Dog poop bag dispenser
Dog water fountain
People water fountain