OUR FAVORITE DOG PARK AND WE’RE LOVIN’ IT!
It may be the last weekend of September but Saturday still felt like summer – hot, dry and windy with a healthy dose of sunshine.
Thanks to dog owners, families and friends who pitched in to pick up and spruce up Kilcona. We’re all winners when our favorite dog park is clean!
A few people deserve special recognition for doing more than their share on Saturday. Winners of the “Golden Shovel Awards” and prizes will be announced on Monday.
This fall’s clean-up will be remembered for three things. The first is how clean the park was before we started and how little dog poop we actually had to pick up. Many dog owners carry extra bags for those in need. On their walks, they also pick up an extra bag themselves and participate in KPDC’s “Number 2 Clue”, the whistle program that alerts inattentive park visitors of the need to clean up after their pets. The results of these dog park community-generated initiatives are obvious. Kudos to Kilcona dog owners for being so responsible!
The second thing the fall clean-up will be remembered for is the success of the club’s fundraising efforts. Volunteers raised almost $1000 for park improvements. This was an unexpected surprise since park clean-ups are not intended to be fundraising events; they’re stewardship events – a time for those of us who love the park to take care of it. Thank you Kilcona dog owners for purchasing KPDC memberships and “Make a Splash” raffle tickets and for your generous donations to bring clean drinking water into the park.
The third thing that the clean-up will be remembered for is the challenge of a crazy, mess-up-your-hair, sand stuck in your lip-gloss prairie wind. We were all astonished to see white caps in our cups of Starbucks coffee!
With winds speeds up to 50 kilometers per hour and gusts over 70, it was Portage and Main all over the city. On several occasions volunteers were seen racing after and retrieved $20 twenty dollar bills, membership cards, raffle tickets, garbage bags and recycling bins that went sailing across the park. Strong winds caught gazebo canopies and turned them into sails. Definitely not the easiest day for volunteers to be setting up and taking down shelters!
As the day wore on, securing the gazebos and keeping them from being damaged or blowing away became the priority for Poo Crew leaders. Volunteers pounded iron snow fence posts deep into the ground and strapped the shelters to the posts and to each other. As the winds continued to strengthen, the team moved into position, hanging onto the iron posts, bracing them and stabilizing the gazebos. We worried what disasters might occur when we untethered them for the take-down. In the end- thanks to some serious planning and tight teamwork – the crew was able to take down the shelters with very little damage; one gazebo strut will have to be replaced.
Lesson learned – we need rain dates AND wind dates for outdoor events!