New area dog park to open thanks to local entrepreneur’s donation

A 2015 Yellow Springs High School graduate announced this week he would donate funds for the long talked about Yellow Springs dog park, making it a reality.

David Butcher, who owns Flyby BBQ and his family owns P&B Electric, will donate the funds to build and open the dog park in his hometown. The park is now expected to break ground in early May and be completed by September.

“I love dogs and I love this community,” Butcher said. “A dog park is just as much about people and community as it is about dogs. I’ve always wanted to help and get more involved.”

Butcher said he and his partner had been taking their rescue dog, Luna, a half-German Shepherd and half-Great Pyrenees, to a dog park in Fairborn and were interested in having one in the village.

Beth Miller, president and CEO of nonprofit consulting firm Wagtown, was contacted by the village to help organize efforts around the dog park. Miller said because of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, opening the dog park seemed far away until Butcher stepped in.

Butcher declined to say how much he donated, but said he covered all construction and dog park infrastructure.

At a Zoom meeting on Tuesday evening, Miller said Butcher has supplied the much-needed fuel to make “the unique dog park dream” a reality.

“Doing things for dogs makes our communities better places to live, for people too,” Miller said.

Yellow Springs has tried to have a dog park for years, Miller said. Various groups had made efforts since 2010.

This dog park has the support of village council, but the village won’t be funding the dog park.

The group has done a lot of research on what the community wants in a dog park. Miller said they invited the community to see the space where the dog park will be in-person and virtually. Miller held a Facebook Live on Wednesday at noon to show residents the dog park site and answer questions anyone viewing had.

The group also asked residents to do several surveys about whether they would want a dog park or what they would want to see at a dog park. Miller said the group has surveyed about 150 residents about the dog park.

There would be a small dog area and a large dog area. There will also be a vestibule area before dog-owners get into the dog park, where they can take leashes off or put them on. Near the vestibule there will be a kiosk with information about the dog park and future events or updates.

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