By Brianna Pitts
WARSAW — The Warsaw Rotary Club is looking for local partners to support the building of a dog park on the west side of Warsaw.
The club has been looking for ways to invest in its community since its founding in 1919. The club recently opened the Rotary Park located at 880 W. Market St., Warsaw in honor of its 100th year of service to Warsaw, with a ribbon-cutting in September 2020, and has decided to build a dog park next.
“The idea of building a dog park came after the completion of Rotary Park. We saw this as another opportunity to continue giving back to the community by bringing in another new and vibrant place on the west side of Warsaw to socialize,” said Club President William Smith.
The dog park will be located adjacent to the Rotary Park, alongside the Market Street Trail.
It will consist of two separated fenced-in areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs, to play, unleashed. The project also includes a trail surrounding the outside of the fences as a place for people to walk with or without dogs.
Another idea for the park includes an area to have a canoe launch into the river. Besides adding the trail, the club hopes for the park to primarily remain prairie land with native plants to help with natural water purification.
“The building of the dog park has potential to be a gateway to a major industrial park and contribute to the beautification of the west side,” said Smith.
As a way for all dogs to remain safe, there will be some kind of membership fee in order to ensure all dogs are registered, but the trails will be free for anyone to use. Warsaw City Planner Justin Taylor said the dog park will be overseen and maintained by the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department once built.
“With all of the housing going in downtown, this park will provide another greenspace close by for people to enjoy,” said Taylor.
The club has estimated the project to cost around $200,000 to complete, $30,000 of which will go towards fencing. It has already been granted $3,000 for the project from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation and will continue to search out funding from different organizations such as the K21 Health Foundation, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
“When we commit to a project, we like to involve the whole community and really make it unique for the people who will end up using it. Last time, we had people come out and help us lay bricks. Any contribution will help build the park whether it’s monetarily or physically” said Smith.
Tax deductible gifts in support of the dog park may be made by credit card online to the Warsaw Rotary Community Fund held by the Kosciusko County Community Foundation. Gifts may be made to: https://www.kcfoundation.org/.
If donating by check, people should make the check payable to the Kosciusko County Community Foundation with “Warsaw Rotary Community Fund” in the memo line and mail or drop it off to 102 E Market St., Warsaw, IN 46580.