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Muskegon, Michigan Receives $25,000 Grant to Help Build the City’s First Off-Leash Dog Park

Sep 09, 2016

Muskegon, Michigan Receives $25,000 Grant to Help Build the City’s First Off-Leash Dog Park

After 2 years of planning, fundraising and rallying, building a local dog park is now becoming a reality for the community of Muskegon, which was just awarded $25,000 through PetSafe® Brand’s Bark for Your Park™ program. Muskegon, Mich. 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.

Muskegon County has a population of nearly 173,000 and is home to the City of Muskegon—the largest city on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan—but not a single dog park. In an effort to make the city as pet-friendly as possible, the City of Muskegon, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and Downtown Muskegon Now—a nonprofit organization promoting economic development—approached the county in 2014 about leasing a vacant property in downtown Muskegon for use as a dog park. The dog park project received so much support that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) agreed to match every dollar raised, up to the city’s funding goal of $50,000, potentially doubling the budget for creating the park to $100,000.

“The PetSafe Bark for Your Park grant will provide the initial source of funding needed to kick-start the crowdfunding campaign,” said Cathy Brubaker-Clarke, Director of Community & Economic Development, City of Muskegon. “Together, with the funds from the PetSafe grant, GoFundMe campaign and the MEDC grant, the community will be able to build a unique, human and pet-friendly space in the heart of downtown Muskegon.”

The new PetSafe dog park will be located at the western end of downtown Muskegon, at the corner of W. Western Avenue and Shoreline Drive and will feature amenities such as separate large and small dog areas, pet waste stations, drinking fountains for dogs, seating areas, dog tunnels and upgraded fencing and walkways. The proposed site is across the street from the shoreline of Muskegon Lake and within walking distance of two major residential neighborhoods, the downtown business district, restaurants and local attractions. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2017.

“We applaud Muskegon for wanting to make the city as pet-friendly as possible, something we strive to accomplish within our community of Knoxville, Tennessee,” said Willie Wallace, CEO of Radio Systems® Corporation, makers of the PetSafe Brand. “We are honored to be able to help support Muskegon in their mission to create an all-inclusive, safe and fun dog park for their community and the surrounding area to enjoy for years to come.”

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 Muskegon—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.

Muskegon is one of 5 communities in the Midwest region to receive a grant through the PetSafe Bark for Your Park program. Cottage Grove, Minn. and Aurora, Ill. received $10,000 grants to upgrade their local dog parks, while Columbus, Ohio and Lakewood, Ohio both received $5,000 grants for park maintenance. For a list of all Bark for Your Park grant recipients announced to date, visit

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