After countless meetings, searches for a suitable location, raising money, and project stops and starts, all that was left for the Canandaigua Canine Campus dog park was the running of the dogs.
And run they did Wednesday, and jumped. And generally frolicked about unleashed as they played with their owners and each other at a “soft” opening of the city’s newest park.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Nancy McCarthy, who headed up the citizens group that led the way for the establishment of the dog park on Buffalo Street and also raised more than $64,000 to help make it happen.
A more formal opening for the membership dog park is planned for next year, and more of the park’s finishing touches still need to be finished. But on a blustery, frigid Wednesday, McCarthy said enjoying the park with her dogs filled her with an enormous sense of pride and accomplishment.
“I had no clue how long and difficult this project would be when I brought the concept to the community six years ago,” McCarthy said. “The project consumed me, and I am very grateful to my husband Brian and son Robbie for their loving support and understanding.”
Persistence and volunteer effort and dollars were factors in bringing the dog park to reality, Mayor Ellen Polimeni acknowledged.
“I think that just speaks to the community by the fact that when we want to see something get done, we get after it,” Polimeni said.
McCarthy also noted that many dog lovers stepped up to help with tasks large and small along the way, including Colin Diehl, whose ecological and natural resource consulting firm, DIEHLUX, had a hand in designing the park and helping guide it through various compliance processes.