IRVING PARK — Dog lovers helped raise another $6,000 for improvements to the Horner Park dog park over the weekend, as neighbors continue their quest to secure a quarter million dollars in funding.
The latest round was raised in an online auction that included items like a free year of coffee at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., and a Wilco poster signed by the band.
“We were really excited to see the results exceeding our goal,” said Erica Beutler, chair of the Horner Park Advisory Council‘s the dog park committee.
Phase One of the dog park focused on building the fenced-in area at Horner Park. That was completed in August 2018. The dog park is open to the public, but it’s currently just a fenced-in, no frills spot.
Phase Two is expected to include features like a canine grass field (lead free artificial turf designed for dogs), a dog friendly water fountain, benches, a paved entrance, a small dog area and more overall space to run and play.
The end goal for Phase Two is $250,000. So far the committee has been able to raise $140,000.
“We’re still raising money and hosting some more events this year. And of course you can always donate on our website,” Beutler said. She also recommends fans of the dog park reach out to Ald. Rossana Rodriguez (33rd) about supporting the dog park with ward menu money.
“I usually take my dog to this one or the one at Portage Park, but this one is bigger,” said Valere Iehl, who was at the park on Monday.
She comes out a few times a week with Brixton, her 16-month old Siberian Husky. When the dog friendly area at Horner first opened there was more grass, she said, but now it’s mostly dirt. She’s opening the next round of improvements moves forward.
“First and foremost I would like to see some kind of water component in here. A lot of people bring their own water, and in the winter the park’s water fountains are shut off,” she said. “I’d like to see more grass too, but my dog could care less and likes running around in the dirt. But she’s white and becomes a muddy brown when we’re done here so the water helps when I have to rinse her down when we’re done here.”
The committee hopes to get more support at its Third Annual Howl-O-Ween fundraiser at Stay Dog Hotel, 4130 N. Rockwell St. from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 26. The event will include agility training, pet adoptions and food trucks. Registration is $20 per dog.
Proceeds from the event will be split between the dog park and The Alice Fund, which helps fund medical care and supplies to cats.
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