The Puppy Patch of Walden's Grand Opening a Success
What started out as a dream of an Eagle Scout spurred community action, a grant application, and ultimately the first dog park opening in the picturesque town of Walden, on top of Signal Mountain, TN.
When an Eagle Scout posted on the town’s Facebook page asking if they had ever considered a dog park, community and city officials took notice. While the timing did not work for the Eagle Scout project, it did bring attention to the need for a space where the community could come together with their four-legged friends for socialization and exercise. With dog parks on the mind, the city ironically received an email from The Boyd Foundation announcing their Dog Park Dash Grant program. The Foundation’s mission is to build and enhance dog parks across the state of Tennessee and to make Tennessee the most pet-friendly state in America. To apply, the town had to follow a strict application process showing an executive summary of the planned project, as well as display how the community will support the dog park.
Walden worked with Signal Mountain on the grant application process and looked at three potential sites. The eventual choice was the central, shady location at McCoy Farm. McCoy Farm, which has been in the Bachman/McCoy family since 1912, spans 34 acres and was sold to the town upon Martha Bachman McCoy’s death in 2004. Mrs. McCoy provided instruction that the property should be used for various forms of recreation and a dog park fit that description.
“We selected the site because of its proximity to the McCoy Farm’s walking trails and the availability of electricity and water.” – Alderwoman Sarah Mckenzie
Knowing the voices and support of the community would be critical, the town did a survey in 2019 to gauge the interest of a dog park on the mountain. A whopping 92% of responders stated they approved of this addition to the community.
In September of 2019, Walden was awarded with a Dog Park Dash Grant totaling $25,000 to make their dog park dreams a reality! Not only did the town win the grant, excited community members also raised close to $13,000 to support the park. The town sprang into action, working with Chattanooga based PlayCore, whose company, UltraSite, manufactures a line of commercial grade outdoor dog park products lovingly called BarkPark. The dog park follows best practices by having two separate areas, one for large dogs and one for small dogs, both with posted rules and a double gate system to ensure no pup escapes. The park also provides a water hose and water bowl to keep dogs hydrated and to wash off any muddy paws. The site also boasts agility equipment such as a playful red fire hydrant, hoop jumps, an A-frame dog walk, crawl tunnels, a jump over, and pet waste pick up stations and bags.
One big question remained – the park needed a name. The dog park’s Facebook page ran a naming contest where members of the Walden and Signal Mountain community could submit their ideas. The winner, of course, was perfect: The Puppy Patch of Walden.
The result? On a beautiful Saturday morning, on the 11th of July, Mayor William Trohanis cut the ribbon to officially open The Puppy Patch of Walden. While the Grand Opening wasn’t actively promoted to ensure safe physical distancing protocol, over 20 members of the community came out with their furry best friends to join in the celebration. A refreshing story during these ever-changing times allows for a pause to remember the importance of community, friendship and bringing people together over a common love for animals and the outdoors.
“We came together to bring something new and exciting to our residents. A place to meet other members of the community and to provide socialization and exercise for our dogs.”- Mayor William Trohanis, The Town of Walden
To learn more about The Puppy Patch of Walden, please visit their Facebook page.
About UltraSite: UltraSite™ a PlayCore company, has been manufacturing high-quality commercial grade outdoor recreation products including a variety of Site Furnishings, Park Amenities, Picnic Tables, Park Benches, Dog Park Agility Equipment and Outdoor Fitness Equipment for over 15 years.
About PlayCore: PlayCore is a purpose driven Company committed to building healthy communities around the world by advancing play and recreation. The company infuses scholarly learning, through its Center for Outreach, Research, and Education, into its comprehensive family of brands. PlayCore combines best-in-class educational programming with the most comprehensive portfolio of play and recreation products and services to create tailored environments that match the unique needs of each community served.