The COVID lock down has made for some interesting side effects in our everyday lives, not the least of which is a proliferation of pawed friends making their way into “furever” homes. While it’s not the only reason for the increasing popularity of dogs as pets in some quarters, the numbers seem to be rising in the town of Watson. 

That’s a big reason for the move to creating a dog park, says Rebecca Paszt on the committee overseeing its development. The project has moved closer to realization, and that has dog owners and their charges excited.

“We’ve got the planning process well under way, we’ve applied for a few grants, and so far, we’ve fundraised a good chunk of what we’ll need for materials for the fence,” says Paszt. 

She explains that the fencing is set to be picked up this week, and there’s a core of community volunteers waiting to help with installation. GL Landscaping of Watson is one of the key volunteer contributors. The aim is to have the installation completed at the north end of Watson in Mel Molle Park by the beginning of summer. 

The treed area provides a serene and scenic setting for pets to enjoy a romp. The intent is to have a large area available for large dogs and a smaller fenced off area for smaller breeds or those who need a little more space to be comfortable. The core group of five volunteers has had support of town council throughout the project, and the group is drawing close to its $10,000 fundraising target to cover the essentials. Paszt says that may not necessarily spell an end to the planning or fundraising. 

“The dream is to make it a little fancier. One day, just dreaming, we’d love to have a gazebo as a meeting space for people where they can hang out while their dogs are playing. We’d put a little walking path through there with gravel.”

This past weekend during the Spring Into Watson event, some of those volunteers were on hand to take portraits of pooches in a Main Street gallery setting in front of the Watson Museum. Dozens of wagging tails made their way to the fundraising event. You can find out more at the Watson Dog Park page on Facebook.