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Durham, N.C. Receives $25,000 Grant to Make One of the City’s Oldest Parks Dog-Friendly

Aug 26, 2016

Durham, N.C. Receives $25,000 Grant to Make One of the City’s Oldest Parks Dog-Friendly

Durham’s canine citizens will soon have a new place to play at one of the city’s most historic parks, thanks to a $25,000 grant recently awarded through PetSafe® Brand’s Bark for Your Park™ program. The City of Durham is one of 25 cities nationwide that was selected to receive funding to build an off-leash dog park through this year’s Bark for Your Park grant-giving program.

While the Durham Parks and Recreation Department currently has three dog parks, Northgate Dog Park cannot be brought up to the standards wanted for canine friends due to the location, which is in a floodplain. The Durham Parks Foundation is raising funds to relocate this large dog park to a new location at Rock Quarry Park once the funding goal is met. The Downtown Durham Dog Park is in a fast-growing urban area and is located on city property that is available for commercial development.

“The Durham Parks and Recreation Department is highly committed to providing canine recreation areas accessible to all of our residents and their dogs,” said Rhonda B. Parker, Director of Durham Parks and Recreation. “Thanks to the $25,000 grant from PetSafe Brand, we can now build a permanent dog park within Duke Park, one of the city’s oldest and most popular neighborhood parks, ensuring that those living close to the downtown area will have a place for their dogs to run and play off-leash for years to come.”

The new PetSafe dog park will be located in the former caretaker area, beside the Durham Bike Co-op, within Duke Park at 106 W. Knox St. The dog park will include separate fenced areas for large dogs and small dogs and will also preserve many of the land’s original features, including several dogwood trees. The design includes low stone walls for neighborhood plantings and sitting areas and reclaimed playground equipment for use by dogs and as art. Construction of the new park is expected to begin in spring 2017.

“The dedication and commitment the City of Durham has shown to ensuring all of its residents and their dogs have access to safe and well-maintained areas to play off-leash is extremely admirable,” said Willie Wallace, CEO of Radio Systems® Corporation, makers of the PetSafe Brand. “We are honored to be able to support the city’s mission by helping to build an off-leash dog park within the Duke Park neighborhood.”    

PetSafe Brand developed and launched the nationwide Bark for Your Park program in 2011 to help communities build their own off-leash dog parks. This year PetSafe Brand restructured the contest into a grant-giving program and increased the number of awards from five to 25, with five communities—including Durham—receiving $25,000 for new dog parks, 10 communities receiving $10,000 park upgrade awards and 10 communities receiving $5,000 park maintenance awards. Recipients will be awarded a combination of funds as well as commercial-grade dog park equipment from UltraSite™, a PlayCore company.

In addition to Durham, N.C., PetSafe Brand is proud to announce that Bristol, Va. and Alexandria, Va. received $10,000 grants to upgrade their local dog parks, while Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. and Owego, N.Y. both received $5,000 grants for park maintenance.

PetSafe Brand is revealing the 25 communities receiving dog park grants in a series of five announcements throughout August and September. Last week the company made the first announcement, revealing that Friendswood, Texas received a $25,000 new park grant; Bedford, Texas and Santa Fe, N.M. both received $10,000 park upgrade grants; and Brenham, Texas and Yuma, Ariz. each received $5,000 park maintenance grants. PetSafe Brand will reveal the remaining 15 communities in a series of three announcements over the next several weeks, and will also be hosting a celebration event in each region throughout the months of September and October.

About the PetSafe® Brand

PetSafe® Brand is an industry leader in the development of innovative pet behavioral, containment and lifestyle product solutions. PetSafe® Brand is owned by Radio Systems® Corporation and headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. For more information, visit or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About UltraSite™

UltraSite™, a PlayCore company, manufactures high-quality commercial grade dog park equipment that is based on popular agility obstacles and designed for dogs of all sizes, abilities and confidence levels. For more information, visit