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Unity's Paw Park praised at 10-year celebration

The community of Unity celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Paw Park off-leash dog park venue

UNITY - Sept. 11 proved a perfect day for the party at Unity’s Paw Park, celebrating the 10th anniversary of this venue in Unity. Organizers say 65 people and 12 dogs were in attendance at this afternoon event.

The Paw Park was developed for both residents and visitors to enjoy, providing a safe place for our best friends to socialize off-leash and roam freely. From a bare piece of prairie to a fully developed off-leash dog park, compete with benches for the humans that bring them to this venue, the Paw Park is proud of all the developments that have happened in their 10 years.

Residents often remark on social media or share visitor's comments on their enjoyment and thankfulness for this community dog park venue in Unity. As developments occur, it has seemed to increase interest in utilizing the park and all that it has to offer.

The Paw Park committee members are Laura Howdle, Chantal Winterhalt, Paula Sittler, Travis Ducherer, Kelly Heather and Audra-Lynn Nelson

The celebration day included draws, dog agility demonstrations from Flatland Kennels and Boarding, 4-Diamond Kennels & Obedience, and Unity 4-H, presentations, as well as two pet specific businesses being set up on site. Attendees also had the opportunity to experience all that this location has to offer.

Paula Sittler, committee member and regular park user says, “The Paw Park is a safe and inviting place to socialize puppies and dogs. It was a god send for raising a super energetic Scout into the social butterfly he is today! The COVID pups were plentiful this year and last so I know it is very well used. We use the park at least once a week for play dates or just to burn off some energy. It is also a place to learn tips and tricks for raising well-mannered canine citizens! The park is incredibly well maintained thanks to volunteers and local businesses donating time, energy, and equipment. We love having this in our community and Laura Howdle has turned it into a very beautiful space for people to visit.”

Founder, Laura Howdle, says, “We have continued with many upgrades to the park during our 10 years and working with the Town of Unity and volunteers to gain an improved access to the park. For those using the north walking path, feel free to stop by the off –leash park along your way, you don’t need a dog to stop in!”

Everyone’s efforts are required in keeping the park clean for all users, and that includes picking up after the pooches.

A number of presentations were made throughout the afternoon that included those businesses who have provided support and in-kind donations that benefit the park, park users and the paths leading to this venue. Howdle says she still has presentations for three businesses not in attendance, for all the work they, too, have contributed in the ongoing efforts to evolve and maintain the park.

A few of the upgrades include gravel pad, garbage and recycle bin, a reinstalled agility area with some upgrades, dog bag dispensers to walking paths, garbage and/or recycle bins on pathways, signage replacement upgrades, barricade fences and solar lights.

This park has now installed a Memorial board inside the park at the middle bench. Spots are available for purchase to post in memory of a pet or loved one, with a portion of funds being a donation to the dog park.

Howdle says the next improvements on tap will be working on topping up of the wood chips and putting clay at the base of west and south fence.

Like many places and spaces in Unity, the Paw Park has benefitted over the years from a number of community sponsors, community volunteers and in-kind donations that have all contributed to upgrades and maintenance at this dog park. The committee acknowledges that it would not be the venue it is today without these contributions.

“The park is 100 per cent supported through these efforts, and our fundraising projects,” says Howdle

You can find the Paw Park on Face Book.