BRISTOL, Va. — The guests of honor had four legs Tuesday when the city formally opened its new dog park at Sugar Hollow Park.
The Bristol Virginia Parks and Recreation Department secured a $10,000 grant that funded creation of the new dog area on a hill overlooking sports fields, not far from the park’s previous dog area. The fenced 1.5-acre space is divided for small and larger dogs and sports multiple shade trees, benches and some exercise stations for canines.
“Many people used that [former area], but there was no shade. It was split between sizes of dogs, but it was used a lot,” said Danny Hill, of the Parks and Recreation Department, adding that it was in the outfield area of a softball field.
The city submitted an application for a PetSafe Bark for Your Park grant and was notified in August it would receive $10,000. The Knoxville, Tennessee-based maker of pet training products each year distributes grant funds to build, maintain or expand dog parks across the U.S., according to the PetSafe website.
“It took several years to get everything together, but with the PetSafe grant and the parks and recreation crew, which put the fencing up and [installed] the amenities you see, we now have a true dog park and not a dog area,” Hill said.
Much of the fencing was reused from the previous dog area on the ball field or from other places in the city, Hill said.
The city plans to extend running water to the dog park area and possibly some additional parking off Resting Tree Drive, Hill said.
“This wouldn’t have happened without the grant,” City Manager Randy Eads said. “It saved the city $10,000. It’s an extra amenity for citizens of Bristol, Virginia, Bristol, Tennessee and Washington County and something that will be utilized. … It’s not bringing revenue to the city, but it does bring people out to the park so they can enjoy time with their four-legged family member.”
The dog park is open the same hours as the park, daily from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.