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Plans for dog park at site of former Y still up in air

  • Canada-Geese-inhabit-the-former-YMCA

    Canada Geese inhabit the former YMCA site next to Woodsdale Park in Toledo. Members of the Toledo Unleashed group are working on an agreement with the city to put a dog park there.

    <The Blade/Lori King
    Buy This Image

  • NBRWp-DOGPARK15P

    Canada Geese inhabit the former YMCA site next to Woodsdale Park in Toledo. Members of the Toledo Unleashed group are working on an agreement with the city to put a dog park there.

    <THE BLADE/LORI KING
    Buy This Image

Canada-Geese-inhabit-the-former-YMCA

Canada Geese inhabit the former YMCA site next to Woodsdale Park in Toledo. Members of the Toledo Unleashed group are working on an agreement with the city to put a dog park there.

The Blade/Lori King
Enlarge | Buy This Image

The land where the for­mer South Toledo YMCA branch once sat soon could see more ac­tion. It’s been nearly two years since the YMCA & JCC of Greater Toledo de­mol­ished the branch next to Woods­dale Park and res­i­dents had been frus­trated this sum­mer about a lack of prog­ress in repur­pos­ing the land.

But ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by com­mu­ni­ca­tions spe­cial­ist Rob Tho­mas, things are start­ing to move. The YMCA has for­mal­ized an agree­ment to trans­fer the prop­erty to the City of Toledo.

“As part of fi­nal­iz­ing the agree­ment the city re­quested re­seed­ing ar­eas of the prop­erty, trim­ming some of the bushes, and mow­ing. Our con­trac­tor has com­pleted these tasks,” the state­ment said.

Toledo Un­leashed, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that aims to pro­mote op­por­tu­ni­ties for dogs to so­cial­ize and to be safely off their leashes in the Toledo area, has been shar­ing its plans with the YMCA to build a dog park on the same site.

But while the YMCA con­tin­ues to work with the City of Toledo to ap­pro­pri­ately tran­si­tion the prop­erty, Toledo Un­leashed board Pres­i­dent Tina Yop­polo said fund­ing re­mains an is­sue.

Syl­va­nia Recre­ation board mem­ber Jack Spiess spear­headed the first an­nual “Jack’s Pooch Plunge,” event in early Sep­tem­ber to raise funds to help make the dog park a re­al­ity. The event was started in mem­ory of Mr. Spiess’ father, Jack, who passed away in June, 2011. Hosted at Syl­va­nia’s Plum­mer Pool, the event brought out many pet own­ers, at the price of $5 per dog, who shared with Mr. Spiess their in­ter­est in a com­mu­nity dog park.

He said that many peo­ple who move to the area and hear that there isn’t al­ready an es­tab­lished dog park are let down.

“They’re sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed that we don’t have one,” he said. Mr. Spiess said $1,010 was raised dur­ing the Pooch Plunge and will be do­nated to Toledo Un­leashed for the pur­pose of help­ing to fund the park.

The park will be on four acres of land and there are plans to have a large dog area and a small dog area sep­a­rated. There will be a fence in the fa­cil­ity and a se­cu­rity gate. Fu­ture im­prove­ments, Ms. Yop­polo said, might in­clude drink­ing foun­tains. She said she an­tic­i­pates pa­trons’ mem­ber­ship rate be­ing around $35 per year.

But time will tell whether the plans will be able to work and whether the fund­ing will come through.

To learn more about do­nat­ing to the dog park fund, visit to­le­doun­leashed.org.

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