Lewisburg wins grant to build dog park

Friday, July 20, 2018
Lewisburg Animal Shelter volunteers with their canine companions and Randy Boyd at Boyd’s presentation of a $25,000 grant from the Boyd Foundation to fund a dog park here in Lewisburg.
Tribune photo by Erin Morris

By the end of the year, man’s best friend should have a safe place to be off the leash in Lewisburg.

The 2018 Tennessee Dog Park Dash grant, provided by the Boyd Foundation, has made this new park possible.

Randy Boyd, whose Radio Systems Corporation is a major pet product distributor, presented a $25,000 check to the city, as part of his Boyd Foundation’s three-year commitment to donate $1 million per year across the state to support animal welfare.

Boyd and Radio Systems started establishing dog parks in his native Knoxville in 2006 after attending a national pet business meeting at which Tennessee was described as a “backwater” for animal welfare.

The city will locate the park on the corner of Spring Place and Airport Road, just behind Columbia State Community College. A few years ago, a former Marshall County resident, Thomas I. Hill donated the piece of land to the city.

“This area will be a gem in the community as it brings awareness to the plight of animal welfare in our community,” Susan Ragsdale, Lewisburg shelter manager said. “As well as bringing families and friends together to celebrate our four-legged canine companions. It will be a place of hope, love, and community that we have never had in our city or county.”

City Manager Randall D. Dunn says it’s a great thing for the city. Since the transition of animal control to animal welfare, the city of Lewisburg has been working tirelessly to better the lives of companions.

“This county is full of people that want to help,” Dunn said. Dunn mentioned the shelter has worked with the police department and other local businesses in the past to help with anything the shelter needs.

Even though the grant amount is $25,000, they will spend most of that money on fencing. Double fencing the property will cost the city $17,000. That alone takes up over half the grant.

“The city is more than willing to help out with what the grant doesn’t cover,” Dunn said. Lewisburg will provide services like clearing and grubbing besides providing seed and straw, which totals to $15,000.

The city will divide the two-acre park into two areas for small and large dogs. The park will include litter cans and bag dispenser stations up at the entrance and each side of the park. The park will have multiple park benches, shady trees, and park signage at the entrance and throughout.

“If everything goes right, we should have this project done by the end of this year,” Dunn said.