In 1985 the City of Thompson Falls, MT, installed horseshoe pits in a piece of city property adjacent to the Community Center at 410 Golf Street. They surrounded the 60' x 160' area with chain-link fence. The area was utilized by recreational horseshoe pitchers for many years, but eventually sat unused when the the popularity of horseshoe pitching waned among the locals. Weeds took over the grass and the fenced property sat vacant.
In the spring of 2015, members of Sanders County Dog Training Club identified the site as a potential off-leash dog park. They approached the Thompson Falls City Council and negotiated a memorandum of understanding that would give SCDTC the right to develop, improve, maintain and manage the site as a public dog park.
Volunteers from the club and the community turned out to help prepare the soil for new grass. Progress was slow but steady over several months as volunteers weeded, rototilled, picked rocks leveled and raked in preparation for grass seed. We came up with a plan for watering, which would include lots of hoses, sprinkler heads and automatic timers. In the meantime, the weather had become so hot and dry that there was clearly no reason to plant grass seed until temperatures became more bearable for it. So we waited.
Meanwhile we were applying for funds and grants from various organizations. We bought a nice lawnmower from S & S Sports. We planned for lawn edging and installation of a double gate for safety.
A generous donation from a private local foundation came through in late July, and suddenly we had the financial ability to install an underround sprinkler system and purchase sod.
That's where we are today. Our plans are to install the sprinkler system within a couple weeks and be ready for sod-laying over Labor Day Weekend. We're finally going to be green!!
Want to help? Wow, we can use it! We need to recruit a work crew for the sod-laying party, so if you know some brawny folks with strong backs, please put them in contact with me, Jan Manning, at email@example.com.
If you'd like to have your dog play a part in the project, purchase a $20 custom nameplate using this order form. We will order it for you and hang it on the fence for all to see!