The wait is finally over and it is time to cut the leash. The Geneva Bark Park will be holding an official ceremony on Saturday, June 25 from 11 am-1 pm and all two-legged and four-legged community members are welcome to attend. As an All-America City & Playful City, USA among other notable designations, the City of Geneva is continuing to make strides to improve the overall livability for families with the opening of the first Dog Park in Ontario County. “We envision Geneva’s Bark Park to be a great place where neighbors can gather to enjoy time together with their four-legged family members.” Janelle Drach The “Bark Park” as it has been dubbed by volunteers who have spent over 3 years fundraising for the location, will provide more consistent recreational opportunities for dogs and their human families by offering an off leash play space. Situated in a vacant plot of land in downtown Geneva, the previous location of a wooden playground community build project, this 1 acre piece of land will offer both a large and smaller dog play area. The event will have special speakers, a bench dedication ceremony, dog friendly booths, music, food and time for dogs and owners to play inside the park! For a full list of activities visit www.genevarec.com and click on the sidebar labeled “Geneva Bark Park”. The bench dedication is for long time Girl Scout Troup leader and dog lover, Loraine M. Luongo. Luongo’s family and local Troop 40937 will be on hand for this special event. Troop members, Hannah Knifley, Alison Lamb, Carolyn McGowan and Courtney Swinehart, assisted financially to honor Loraine and also painted the bench in a “girl scout” green color. This has truly been a community investment project, with hundreds of people assisting the volunteers to coordinate events like Barktoberfest, Wine & Wags, Pup-Crawls and hosting info booths at the weekly Farmers Markets downtown. Geneva Community Projects, the fiscal advisor on the project is still accepting donations and the personalized brick donation program is also still open. Current president, Katharine Korona noted, “the board members of Geneva Community Projects, is thrilled to see the completion of the project, and congratulates the organizers who tirelessly put this project together. The park will be ADA accessible, will have a double-gate entry, separation between large and small dog areas, a drinking fountain, benches and waste bag dispensers. City staff are in the process of completing documents that will be used for registering dogs for annual memberships to the Bark Park. No residency requirements are needed, but dog owners will have to supply appropriate ownership and vet information along with signing a statement of understanding on proper use of the park. A fee schedule for the memberships is also being sorted out. Mathew Horn, City Manager will be one of the opening speakers at this Saturday’s event. Mr. Horn commented, “The City of Geneva is ecstatic about the upcoming opening of the Geneva Bark Park. This project represents the best of Geneva, and is reflective of Council’s commitment to supporting civic engagement. We are so grateful to all of our community partners and the residents who have made this possible. The Geneva Bark Park was an initiative started through a local Geneva resident through the City of Geneva Innovation Hub by Irene Canario. The organization, a project of Geneva Community Projects, coordinates fundraising for a local dog park that will be established behind the Geneva Recreation Complex, providing residents and dogs a safe and friendly environment to exercise and socialize.