Claudius Crozet Park (CCP) has been awarded a $10,000 matching challenge grant from the Starr Hill/Red Light fund of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (CACF). The fund will match all donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000 to help build the Crozet Dog Park, one of many projects underway at the 22-acre community-owned Crozet Park.
According to CCP board president Kim Guenther, “The grant improves our chances of building the dog park this year by not only providing much needed funding, but also generating momentum to raise the remaining $10,000 needed for the project. We will work to match the $10,000 grant by the end of this summer with the goal of completing the dog park project this fall. The total estimated cost of the project is $30,000. With money previously raised, additional funding from the Starr Hill Brewery’s Cheers for Charity program in April, and a generous challenge grant pushing us to the finish line, total project funding is well within reach.”
With a fall completion date now in sight, dog park site work has now begun in earnest thanks to Luke Omand, owner of Piedmont Land Management (PLM), who visited the park in May to begin initial clearing. PLM’s visit to the site came at the request of County Parks and Recreation, who requested a public demonstration of a method of land-clearing called “Forestry Mulching.” The “green” method uses a medium sized tracked vehicle that mulches brush and small trees as it clears. Forestry Mulching is a relatively new alternative for brush removal, allowing land to be cleared in a much more environmentally friendly way and much more effectively than by hand or with larger, heavier equipment. More about PLM’s services, including Forestry Mulching, can be found at: http://www.piedmontlm.com/.
The demonstration attended by County officials, area residents and Park Board members culminated in several days of work by PLM that cleared about 50 percent of the proposed dog park area. With preliminary clearing completed, the dog park’s site planning group is now in the process of developing final designs that will ultimately accommodate both small and big dog fenced-in areas on just over an acre of land.
“Crozet, and Albemarle County in general, is a dog-loving community,” said Guenther. “A fenced-in park in western Albemarle where dogs can run off-leash is long overdue. We are especially excited that so many are stepping up to support this effort, including Albemarle County Parks and Recreation, Starr Hill Brewery, the Starr Hill/Red Light fund, the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA and now, Piedmont Land Management. The Crozet Dog Park is no longer a “hope to have” amenity in our community. It’s a reality happening this fall!”