Tuesday afternoon visitors to Red Mountain Park’s fan page on Facebook were asked to guess the next big thing happening at the 1,200 acre property on the city’s west side. It looks like there will be a lot of happy dogs (& dog owners) based on the responses received and what we know now.
The Terminal has learned that Red Mountain Park is receiving a $200,000 contribution courtesy of a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham to construct of a 6-acre off-leash dog park. Remy’s Dog Park (PDF of site map) will be named in honor of local auctioneer Ken Jackson’s late Jack Russell-Shih Tzu mix. The final total grew from an initial $100,000 allotment to the park from the ‘Mac & Tosh’ donor advised fund established by Jackson in memory of two other pets.
According to a press release, Jackson said, “[t]his is the most gratifying – and fun – endeavor I’ve been involved with” since establishing a fund in Remy’s name for pets and animal services at the Community Foundation in 2010.
The space will be the largest off-leash dog park in the city of Birmingham and will be able to handle both large and small dogs in addition to special needs dogs. It is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year and plans call for amenities including hoses for on-site baths and drinking water for our four-legged friends.
Red Mountain Park’s fund board co-chair, Tom Carruthers, III, recognizes the benefits the newest addition to the park will provide. “Remy’s Dog Park will draw visitors who might not otherwise consider visiting Red Mountain Park for hiking and biking.” He points out that it plays into plans to grow awareness and attendance to the park as well. “Our strategic plan of development includes multiple destinations appealing to every age group with varied interests.”
Dave Dionne, the park’s executive director, believes that “everything is better when multiple partners joyfully collaborate to provide things our community genuinely needs. Partners who have identified like-minded missions will always have more dynamic outcomes than those working alone.”
To that end, two “Doggie Work Days” are planned for July 13 and 14 to give volunteers an opportunity to help start clearing the park site. They will both take place from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Park officials are encouraging the public to call 205.202.6043 if they are interested in volunteering to prepare the site.
The dates for the work days also happen to coincide with the last two days folks are allowed to vote in Coca-Cola’s fourth annual America is Your Park campaign. Red Mountain Park – and other area parks – are eligible for up to $100,000 in recreation grants based on the numbers of votes received.