Riverfront dog park name revealed at Parade of Paws fundraiser Saturday

The name and design elements of a future dog park in Riverfront Park were announced Saturday at the Humane Society’s Parade of Paws fundraiser in the park.

“Riverfront Park is our community gathering place,” Spokane Parks and Recreation Director Garrett Jones said in a speech under the Forestry Shelter. “Our dog park here will be an extension of that theme, a place where people and their dogs can gather in the heart of Spokane.”

The urban dog park will be named The Spokane Humane Society Paw Park and is a project of the Spokane Parks Foundation’s Campaign for Riverfront Spokane. Since it’s funded entirely through donations, the timeline for construction will depend upon fundraising. It is estimated to cost $750,000.

The Spokane Humane Society donated $250,000 to kick-start the campaign in February. The society’s donation came from a set of nonrestricted private donations, according to Spokane Humane Society President Melissa Williams.

“We feel blessed to be a part of the park, back to our roots,” Williams said. “We feel it is just another way to bring animals and people together.”

The park is not far from the site of the nonprofit’s original animal shelter, built on the north bank of the Spokane River in 1910. The Spokane Humane Society is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

Local design firms NAC and AHBL partnered to create the design based on feedback from more than 1,500 people surveyed by Spokane Parks and Recreation.

Craig Andersen, director of landscape architecture for AHBL and a board member of the Spokane Parks Foundation, described the park’s design.

There will be two separate spaces for small dogs and large dogs on the north side of the Forestry Shelter, with an entrance underneath. Part of the project will freshen up the historic shelter, built for Expo ’74, in order to “make it look more inviting,” and to use for events like training classes, adoptions and dog shows.

The park will feature a variety of play surfaces for dogs to experience including decomposed granite, bark mulch and artificial turf. The park will be wheelchair accessible with plenty of seating.

Nick Sumner, chair of the Riverfront Park Committee, said the park will help fulfill a need in the downtown area by establishing a safe place set up specifically for animals.

Donations to the dog park can be made on the Spokane Parks Foundation website at spokaneparksfoundation.org/dog-park.

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