Sep. 3—MINERAL WELLS — Now, the dogs are in on the act.
A bone's throw from the Crazy Water Hotel, members of Mineral Wells Leadership Class 27 turned dirt on Thursday for a dog park that will have lots of unique traits inside its square-block home.
"We are moving forward as a wellness community, and we wanted to inspire people to be outside and be more community-involved," said Torie Kent, Class 27 member and a leader in the drive to establish the city's first dog park.
It is appropriately named, Crazy Dog Park.
"I've met some of my bestest friends at dog parks," Class 27 member Hannah Burkhall said. "This is going to be more fun than just for dogs."
Once completed, ideally by spring 2023 if fundraising efforts allow, the park will have separate entrances and play areas for big and small pooches.
Park designer Willis Winters, a retired director of the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, described gravely "relief paddocks" where dogs can relieve themselves before entering the grassy areas.
"Well-socialized pets are safer pets," Kent said, later adding pets that purr were wisely left out of the equation. "I think the cats would prefer us to leave them alone."
There will be an area for the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter to stage adoption events, and the nonprofit Grow Crazy Mineral Wells will have space in a central area.
"That's a really exciting component of this place that I've never seen before," Winters said of the garden. "It's been great working with the Leadership Class 27, which very bravely took on this project. (President) Brooke Barnett has done a great job, and the (Mineral Wells Area) Chamber of Commerce."
Kent pointed out more of Crazy Dog Park's amenities.
"Our dog park will be wheelchair accessible," she said.
Part of downtown's renewal has been the arrival of residents there, mirroring a trend in larger cities of a self-contained community of apartments, restaurants, barber shops, grocers and retail outlets.
"And there's going to be more," Kent said, acknowledging a recent city council zoning decision allowing a four-story apartment building on the hillside overlooking downtown. That project is envisioned as a bed and breakfast for visitors attending festivals.
"As people travel through, they are going to be looking for a safe place for their dogs to come," she added.
Class 27 continues to fundraise for the park, with $2,855 toward a $150,000 collected by Thursday afternoon.
The group also is selling Crazy Dog Park T-shirts for $25 and will host a Dog Party on Sept. 24 with live music, face painting a contest that includes cutest and ugliest dog and more. A golf tournament, called Putts Fore Pups, is set for Oct. 21 at Holiday Hills Golf Club to help ace the drive.
For more information about helping the park, go to facebook.com/crazydogpark