Lincoln's newest public dog run is open in Roper East Park, N. 7th and Adams streets (I-180 north of Cornhusker Highway). A public grand opening is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 5. The new dog run replaces the Oak Creek dog run, which will close November 6.
Two other new dog runs are planned in the City. With the existing dog run east of Holmes Lake, Lincoln will have a public dog run in each quadrant of the City. The other two new dog runs at Peterson Park (2200 Southwood Dr.) and Mahoney Park (84th and Adams) are expected to open by late 2017. The projects are part of the City's Dog Run Master Plan.
The Lincoln Parks Foundation and the Friends of Dog Parks are raising private funds until Dec. 31 for features at the three new and one existing dog runs. A new fund-raiser is the tile program, which gives people the opportunity to support the campaign and honor their favorite dogs or dog lovers. Personalized tiles (4" x 4" or 4" x 8") will be permanently located on two decorative fences at each of the four dog runs.
"These tiles make perfect holiday gifts for hard-to-buy-for friends and family who love dogs," said Diane Temme, campaign leader. "It is the only permanent, public tribute of its kind in Lincoln and perhaps the entire nation." The program will continue after the official campaign ends at the end of the year.
Local manufacturer TMCO, Inc., which is owned by Roland Temme, designed and created the decorative fences and tiles. Local companies Bison and BRP at Bison, owned by Nick Cusick, contributed custom benches and trash receptacles.
"I want to thank these great local businesses for being part of another great public-private partnership," said Mayor Chris Beutler. "TMCO and Bison are extraordinary models for Lincoln and serve as an inspiration to their own employees and other local businesses throughout our community."
The campaign goal of $861,050 includes $240,000 from the City's Capital Improvement Program. City-funded improvements include separate fenced areas for large and small dogs, gates, parking facilities with ADA stalls, sidewalks, portable restroom shelters and trees. The campaign will fund additional features such as drinking fountains, rinsing stations, shade shelters, custom benches, custom trash receptacles and concrete pathways. An endowment will be established and funded as walking paths and rinse stations are developed at the dog runs.
Since June, the campaign has raised just over $700,000 or 81 percent of its goal, including a $200,000 gift from the Leonard J. and Angeleen E. Stransky Charitable Trust. In addition, 19 Four for Four Club sponsors will receive banners at all four dog runs for four years. (A list follows this release). Other funding partners include the Lincoln Parks Foundation, the Friends of the Dog Parks and the Lincoln Cares community donation program.
The free public grand opening Sunday at Roper East Park will include an inaugural walk with dogs, refreshments and other activities. The first 200 people who bring their dogs will receive gift bags from Culver's Restaurants of Lincoln, which is also donating 20 percent of their proceeds from all sales at its three locations on Monday, November 6.
"This is a very exciting day for dogs and dog owners in the Lincoln area," said Kelly Hansen, secretary of Friends of the Dog Parks. "Having a dog run in each quadrant of the City will improve access to everyone in our community, especially those who live in apartments and those who do not have yards. We are grateful to the City, the Lincoln Parks Foundation, all of our donors and our hard working volunteers who together have made this possible."
For more information one campaign, visit LincolnParks.org/dogruns or call the Lincoln Parks Foundation at 402-441-8258. More information on the Parks and Recreation Department is available at parks.lincoln.ne.gov.
These Four for Four Club sponsors will receive banners at all four dog runs for four years:
A4 Animal Hospital, Bailey's Deluxe Pet Care, Beer Paws, Culver's Restaurants of Lincoln, DuTeau Subaru, Eagle Printing and Sign, Friends of the Dog Parks,
Invisible Fence of the Heartland, KENL INN, Lincoln Parks Foundation, Nature's Variety, Nebraska Animal Medical Center, Nebraska Home Sales: Rich Rodenburg and Kim Soucie, Paws 4 Fun, Pinnacle Bank, Pitts Veterinary Hospital, Sam's Club,
TMCO and U-Stop/U-Paws.