A love for her dogs and community gave Elko’s own, Darci Shelton the idea to make a place for the community to bring their beloved pets for some fun! In April 2019, Darci and Kisty Williams Newman approached city council with the idea for Elko’s need for a space for dogs. Throughout months of meetings, they discussed pros and cons, needs and statistics, helping the council decide that the park was needed. An important reason being that the park would give dogs a space of their own instead of using sports fields. The 5th Street park was chosen as location, it was the most cost effective and logical. Once approved, they discussed budget, the city allotted money to complete the parking lot, as it was already in the city’s plans. The final details were to meet city codes with walkways, waste stations, and water sources. As for everything else, it was up to Darci, Kisty, and volunteers, RaeAnna Carrol, Tammy Owens, and Rachel Hooper. They began fundraising and talking to local businesses and community to gain support. They raised over $13,500, most of it going to fencing, but Darci wanted it to be more than just a fenced, grassed area. They asked Kelly Builders to help design the perfect park. With the help of Elko Blacksmith and Pacific Steel’s donations, they were able to build ramps for the main area and the small dog area. Ames construction donated cones to use as weaving poles, ACHA Construction donated large rocks as play features. Travis and Kathy Gilbert donated a few large stumps to use as pedestals. Cardinals Nonstop Cuts is donating a custom sign for the entrance, Megan Gardner is donating decor, with help from many others. Darci said, “We are trying to give the community a place to socialize their dogs, keeping them happy and healthy,” as well as, “I’m so proud and feel so blessed to have the support from the community. With it not even open yet, I see people using it daily and it makes my heart soar with happiness!” Another Elko resident, Sidney Becerra said, “This dog park is going to make a tremendous difference for dog owners. The park will be a place for dogs to socialize, train, and play within safe boundaries. We are super excited to bring our dogs to meet new friends and get their energy out! Darci did an amazing job setting up fundraising and making sure this project got done. I can’t thank her enough for bringing something new and necessary to our little town!” This project is not complete, there’s a list of things they’d like to add: benches for inside, a double gated entry, a privacy fence for neighboring yards, as well as a few other items. The grand opening is October 2nd, 2021.
Article written by Courtney Clearwater