It took 11 years and 2 months, but the dog park I’ve long proposed for Oakland has finally been approved by the Oakland Borough Council! A voice vote of approval was given on May 13th and a formal written resolution is on the council’s agenda for May 27th.
Since we started fundraising in 2016, We’ve raised over $37,000 in cash donations and approximately $48,000 in pledged or donated labor and materials. As with everything in Great Oak Park, it is an amazing accomplishment to say that none of the park’s development has required the Oakland taxpayer to spend a dime.
Over the coming months, I will of course keep you abreast of site developments and progress. Some progress may seem a bit slow, but keep in mind that some the labor and materials are being donated and contractors and donations will come in and be done when possible. I think it is very safe to say at this point that the dog park should be done before the end of the year, but an exact date to say it will be done or when it would open to the public obviously depends on when the Great Oak Park Committee will have completed the entry driveway and parking lot repaving and what the limitations are on public gatherings in the midst of this COVID-19 epidemic.
At this current time, the dog park committee is officially wrapping up the majority of our fundraising as we have enough funds to proceed with construction. If additional funds remain in our account at the end of construction, we will use it to purchase benches, amenities, additional plants, etc. for the dog park. To that end, we also plan to keep our donation boxes out in public until the dog park is complete so that those donated funds can also be spent towards park improvements. It is not confirmed, but it is also possible that one last fundraising event will be held at the end of the year or in early 2021 to purchase additional dog park amenities.
We are also encouraging any dog park supporters who have considered donating but have not done so at this point, and to those who wanted to donate more but was waiting for council approval before donating, to please donate as soon as possible. We will be transferring our funds from the Sports Association of Oakland (the 501c3 organization that has graciously acted as our bank for fundraising efforts) to the Borough at a time in the very near future and we would like to ensure that as much of our funds as possible are transferred over in one shot instead of receiving last minute donations in a slow drip process. To donate, go to the dog park website at www.dogpark4oaklandnj.org/donate and follow the instructions to properly mail in a check.
I thank everyone for their support and I’m living proof that with prayer, patience, and perseverance, anything is possible!
(c) 2020 Dog Park for Oakland, NJ
Founder, project leader and Oakland dog park advocate since March 2009. Now a college graduate wanting to complete his 8th grade project from Valley Middle School for the humans and dogs of his community.