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If you’re a dog owner, we’re pretty sure you know the feeling.
You’re enjoying fresh air, watching your dog enthusiastically run and romp with other pups. You laugh and chat with other dog owners as your pups play. Everyone is bonding — humans and canines both — and it feels like your own happy community.
When you also consider that merely living near green space can positively affect your happiness and health, it’s not surprising people are advocating for more parks and green spaces across the United States.
Whether you’re a city planner or an involved community member, you, too, can help propose ideas for improving your town’s infrastructure with beautiful and inexpensive outdoor spaces.
One fantastic way to introduce valuable green space while also building community is to install a dog park. Dog parks allow both people and their pets to get outdoors, socialize, burn off energy, and feel the sun on their faces.
As a bonus, dog parks are inexpensive compared to many other community-building projects. They do not require large amounts of infrastructure — only space to roam, a fence, a few drinking foundations, and some benches — and they can be installed relatively easily on otherwise abandoned lots.
Here’s the challenge, though. If you propose a dog park to your city council, they may respond that it would require too much maintenance and, therefore, money. A city maintenance team would need to keep the landscaping in tip-top shape, including mowing, weed-whacking along fence lines, and picking up animal waste.
They would also need to keep the lawn well-watered to prevent it from turning brown. They would need to reseed the lawn if the grass began to die — and they would potentially need to apply fertilizers and pesticides to keep the property looking beautiful.
(Learn more about the challenge of natural grass for municipalities by reading this blog.)
In 2019, SYNLawn Northeast Ohio installed Barkwood Dog Park, an off-leash, artificial turf dog park.
Truth is, artificial turf alone isn’t always ideal for a dog park — or any type of lawn pets will be using the restroom on. Which is why SYNLawn Northeast Ohio chose to use Envirofill to complement this project.
When you consider the points below, you’ll easily see why using Envirofill infill with artificial turf is an ideal combination for your community dog park.
Let’s take a look at the top four benefits of using artificial turf with Envirofill for a dog park:
From your city’s perspective, the most significant benefit of an artificial turf dog park is that it doesn’t need to be mowed, weeded, reseeded, fertilized, or watered. This resilient turf saves the community money over time and is also better for the environment because it saves water and avoids the use of chemicals in public spaces.
Unfortunately, artificial turf alone won’t prevent pet odors. The trick to making artificial turf odor resistant? Choosing the right infill. That’s one reason our clients installing dog parks and pet-friendly turf lawns choose Envirofill, the only infill with antimicrobial protection from Microban.
Microban offers unique protection that’s scientifically proven to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew that can cause odors — like the smell of ammonia associated with dog urine.
Microban’s technology reduces ammonia odor from urine by up to 99% and has been scientifically proven to disrupt the bacteria process that converts pet urine into ammonia odor. Microban also prevents stains, so you won’t need to worry about your artificial turf becoming unsightly with time.
Many dogs have grass allergies, and they’ll get itchy paws and bellies after they walk through the grass. If their allergies get bad, their owner will have to take them to the vet for medication and treatment, all of which can add up financially.
With a artificial turf dog park, dogs with allergies can roam free and enjoy all the benefits of a traditional dog park setting without the uncomfortable itching that comes afterward.
Many community members in temperate climates don’t visit their dog parks as often during winter because the fields get muddy and wet. However, with an artificial turf dog park, you won’t need to worry about icy mud pits, and the grass will stay green and beautiful year-round. Which is also a bonus from your city’s perspective: less mess means less maintenance and park closures.
Dog owners will be happy to bring their pets to your dog park because it will be a green oasis during winter and they’ll never need to worry about cleaning their pets’ dirty paws!
Now that you understand the benefits of an artificial turf dog park, it’s time to get your community on board and make it happen!
The more people you have standing behind you, the better. Is there a group of local dog lovers that would sign a petition or join you at the next city planning session? If you’re unsure where to start, look on Facebook for local pet-lovers groups or ask your local veterinarians for leads.
Do a bit of research to see who your city planners and local leaders are. (If this is you or someone you know, then you’re one step ahead!). Provide them with your list of benefits for a local dog park; you can even use this blog post as a starting spot!
These city employees are often very busy, so you may need to keep them accountable with follow-up emails and even phone calls. Find out if there’s an upcoming planning meeting that you and your fellow dog lovers could attend to make your case in person.
There’s a chance that your city will love your idea, but they simply won’t have the funds to make it happen. If that’s the case, consider starting a fundraising committee to encourage local businesses to contribute to your cause.
You may be able to convince a local restaurant or store to donate a percentage of their sales to your cause if customers present a dog park flier or coupon code. Some businesses will allow their customers to round-up their order to the nearest dollar for your cause.
You can network at local philanthropy events in an attempt to meet wealthy community members who may donate to your cause, or you could have a grassroots approach by hosting a community bake sale or car wash. Learn more about funding a community project here.
As you do your research, make sure to look into state or federal funding for beautification projects. These funds often exist. You may need to make many phone calls and ask a lot of questions, but, with time, you could uncover enough funds to bring your project to light.
An artificial turf turf dog park could be a great option to beautify your community space and provide a setting for pet owners and pets alike to exercise, play, and socialize.
Learn more about why artificial turf with Envirofill is such a great option for spaces with pets, including residential homes with pets and even veterinary clinics with a pet yard, here.
If you’re ready to check out Envirofill or place an order for your dog park, visit our Where to Buy Infill map at the button below!