Hudson dogs of all sizes will soon have their own dedicated space as the Hudson Dog Park moves toward phase two of its development plan.
This second phase of the park will be an area for small dogs, set off from the area open for all dogs currently set up at the park, said Anne Wasmund of the Hudson Dog Owners Association.
"It was part of our initial vision to have separate areas where small dogs are comfortable and large dogs as well," Wasmund said.
The dog park first opened in November 2017 along Vine Street near the Carmichael Road intersection. Since opening, Wasmund said the park has been in use, and she has heard good feedback. She said it's great to see dog owners connecting and forming relationships.
"Never a quiet time," she said. "It's excellent to see."
An expansion will give dogs and owners more space to spread out and play, Wasmund said.
The association originally hoped to open both areas in its initial push, Wasmund said, but did not have the full funding at the time.
The first phase cost $25,000, paid for by the association through fundraising, including the Hudson Community Foundation SPARK grant of $5,000.
Initial estimates for the expansion are $13,000 for the fencing alone, Wasmund said. So far the group has raised about half of that.
An annual event for the park, launched last year, may help close the gap, Wasmund said. The Doggity Fun Run will be on Saturday, May 12 from 1-3 p.m., with registration costs going towards the expansion.
"We're hoping the event will make great strides to getting there," Wasmund said.
The run will start at the Hudson Middle School and end at the dog park with time for pups to play.
"Hopefully it's a fun, family event," Wasmund said.
The organization is also working with local businesses to help raise the funds, and selling plaques for businesses or individuals that will be displayed at the dog park.
The park is free to use for all dogs, so long as they are licensed with the city, or their city of residence.
Clean up and maintenance of the park is done mainly by the association, though they ask all visitors to help out and pick up after their dogs.
"Everyone is always pitching in a little bit," Wasmund said.
Wasmund said they've learned a few things since opening on how to best maintain the park. After muddy conditions closed the park this spring, wood chips at the entrance saved the day, and a permanent concrete pad there is now planned.
The Dog Owners Association collaborated with the city to open the park, and Wasmund said that collaboration will continue to keep the park clean and safe for all.
After the second phase is complete, the association will continue fundraising for maintenance and additions like benches, shade structures and possibly some agility equipment in the future to further enhance the experience.
"Constant improvement for both sections will be our focus going forward," Wasmund said.
To learn more about the park and its fundraising efforts, visit www.hudsondogpark.org.