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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.