City of Buckhannon West Virginia
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Woof! Dog Park celebrates recent facility upgrades at Rededication

Poundstone Memorial River Walk Trail, Buckhannon, WV – May 25, 2019 – 11:00 a.m.

Lisa Critchfield and her golden retriever, Jah-Maica

BUCKHANNON, WV: The pups of Buckhannon have a great place to play thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Buckhannon Dog Park Committee, City of Buckhannon, and West Virginia Wesleyan College. The off-leash park is conveniently located at Elizabeth J. “Binky” Poundstone Riverwalk Park. Dogs and their humans will enjoy the newly planted trees, the fire hydrant water station, and crushed stone entrance paths.

Lisa Critchfield, Dog Park Committee Chair, organized a terrific celebration with treats available for visiting pooches. The Dog Park provides ample space for dogs and humans to exercise and play outdoors in an enclosed and safe environment. If you have a dog and haven’t it checked it out yet, be sure to visit the Dog Park at 20 Randolph Street adjacent to Riverwalk Park and the Buckhannon River public access point.

Event remarks, Mayor David McCauley:

Good morning ladies & gentlemen.  It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the rededication of our Buckhannon Dog Park.  Two and a half years ago, a group of residents broached me at City Hall asking about the prospect of our City’s participation in realizing a dog park for our community.  We worked together, formed a committee, and started to search for a site. As our River Walk Trail continued to thrive and expand, it seemed to make sense to try to find a location along the Trail, &- here we are in May of 2019.  Isn’t this a terrific place?

I remind everyone that just two years ago, there was a fifteen feet high or so mountain of earthen materials & demolition debris littering this entire site.  After working with the College to lease the site, City crews started the arduous task of removing all of the materials. Tim Critchfield loaned one of his gigantic dozers & an operator to assist as hundreds of dump truck loads of material were removed by City crews during the summer of 2017.  By Labor Day, we had the fence up, & formally opened our park. Our Committee has been vigilant to help maintain the park, while holding several fundraisers to cover the material costs as City labor chipped away at adding attractions to our Park. During the past 20 months, benches have been installed, signage has been added, grass was planted, Rob Barbor has placed a number of trees within & outside of our Park, the kiosk was mounted, our new fire hydrant that allows our canines & humans alike to get a drink or take a shower has been installed.  Last summer we dedicated our delightful dachshund replete with Child Development Center kids’ paws on the gigantic culvert. Our entrances have been stoned reducing the mud.

In the coming weeks we’ll finish our dog memorial wall, install security cameras, & add a mutt version of another culvert canine for our pups to play in, while adding some new parking along the south side of our park.  Together, we are all committed to continuing to maintain & upgrade our amazing dog park, & I can’t wait to hear the ideas for the next additions. I think it’s phenomenal that in less than two years, we have this dog park that you see today.

I especially want to thank Lisa Critchfield, Robin Keough, Elissa Mills, Ginny Dixon, Brooke Scott, Alison Whitehair, & Steve Beer, who’ve been the driving force in raising funds to make so many of our improvements happen.  But I’d be remiss if I didn’t also thank our City folks including Jerry Arnold, Brad Hawkins, Rob Barbor, & all of our Streets & Parks crew, along with our Water & Waste Departments’ personnel who contributed their talents to realizing the installation of our many improvements.  We need to be ever-mindful that the land upon which this Park sets is owned by WV Wesleyan College, & we thank our College for their continued allowing us to be here. Remember, we’re all in it together.

Finally, I will observe that this project is one founded entirely in kindness & love for our faithful, furry friends.  I think that a community that takes extra steps to care for, look after, & appreciate its canine pals, our children, our senior citizens, those who are disability challenged, not to mention our Veterans since this is Memorial Day weekend- is destined to be an all-inclusive & thus successful community.  In Buckhannon, we support everyone, & everyone has a seat at our ever-growing table. The more folks we include in our discussions & projects, the more successful we shall prove to be as a community.

Thanks to everyone for attending our Dog Park rededication this morning.  Here’s to many more celebrations of our Park’s successes & additions in the years to come.  Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend!