Dogs and Humans Will Benefit from Eagle Scout Project

Clarke County boasts a significant number of fine young men who aspire to join the ranks of Eagle Scout. These candidates often develop projects in park settings that will benefit citizens, but on Saturday May 12, one prospective Eagle Scout broke ground on a highly anticipated project that will also benefit man’s best friend. Boy Scout Daniel Judge’s Eagle Scout project is the addition of a dog park on the grounds of Chet Hobert park in Clarke County. The facility will provide a fenced area where dog owners can let their animals off of their leash. Daniel said, “The dog park will give dogs from all over the area the opportunity to play and socialize.  It will also give a sense of community to dog owners, and will hopefully help to encourage the adoption and support of animals at the Animal Shelter.”

Members of Troop 500 contributed their efforts to the project. (L-R) Khalil Nasar, Daniel Judge, Tom Judge and Zach Campbell

The idea for the project came to Daniel while he was playing soccer. “Because of my travel soccer teams, I have visited dozens of parks all over the area that have dog parks . When I was looking for an Eagle Scout project my mom suggested it, and I immediately loved the idea.”

Apparently it is an addition that many residents have hoped to see in Clarke County. Daniel noted that, “The day after we discussed it with Parks and Rec, word got out and they received a fair number of calls from citizens who said,’We want the dog park.'”

The scope and magnitude of the project is inspiring. The fenced in park will be a 125′ x 125′ gravel filled area that will be subdivided into two smaller pens. This will provide a flexible space to accommodate a variety of dogs. “I worked with Ms. Cooke and the Chet Hobert Parks Board to come up with a simple design and location, which will incorporate two sections, one for big dogs and one for small dogs as well as shade, parking, and a water source.”

However great ideas require hard work and follow through in order to become a reality. Eagle Scout projects are designed to teach these qualities to young men in practical ways. To achieve the highest badge in the Boy Scouts of America, prospective Eagle Scouts must conceive of, plan and execute a project that benefits the community. Daniel’s project took this a step further in several ways. His project is a slightly complicated partnership where the Parks and Rec Department will provide partial funding. The projected cost of the project is estimated to be $18,000. Parks and Rec will cover $13,000 and Daniel will be  required to raise the remaining $5,000. “We have had a lot of support, the tough part now is donations.” Daniel has already raised approximately $1000 but is actively seeking contributions to finalize the project,

His project also involved negotiations with two different power companies. The site of the dog park is situated next to the Jaycee Shelter and is in the easement for the power lines that pass through the park, so Daniel had to manage discussions with Allegheny Power and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative. “They have all been great to work with, it was just a lot tougher than I thought it would be.”

Saturday’s work entailed cutting sod away from an area that had been cleared by a bulldozer. Other scouts from Troop 500 that contributed their time and energy to the project include:  Khalil Masar, Daniel Judge, Graham Smith, and Jonathan Meyer. Daniel’s father Tom Judge was also on hand overseeing the effort and providing additional labor.

Daniel anticipates the project will be completed in early June. “There is a chance it will be done by June 1st, but probably between June 1st and 15th.”

To contribute to Daniel’s project please contact him via email at dtjudge@verizon.net. Checks can be made out to the Clarke County Treasurer with a note in the memo field “for dog park.” You may also contact Director of Parks & Recreation Lisa A. Cooke at (540) 955-5140 or by email at lcooke@clarkecounty.gov.

 

Comments

  1. jennifer says:

    http://www.petco.com/petco_Page_PC_foundationgranttypes_Nav_1350.aspx

    Four R’s Project grants includes grants for dog parks. i don’t know the details but may help if the timing is right. I would think they would enjoy the added fact that it is not just a dog park but a dog park being built as part of an Eagle Scout project. What great advertising / PR for them.

    Congratulations Daniel on your project and your attaining your Eagle Scout status.

  2. sargewillis says:

    Great idea! A hardy thank you from all us dog owners to Daniel for his inovative Eagle Scout project!

  3. Right Winger says:

    HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!

  4. Linkabee says:

    Great job! I have a lot of respect for Eagle Scouts, being able to carryout a project that big is not easy. Especially love the fact that it’s a dog park, our dog hates being on a leash so it’d be nice to have to place she could run around in.

  5. AWESOME IDEA!!!

  6. I would suppose the park will charge a fee to use this area. Just as all of the folks who have children playing on the not for profit sports teams. Have to pay a fee to use the ball fields.

  7. Not sure why they dug up all the grass. Put a fence around it. The grass was fine. Then again, this is a gov’t project, how can it not be wasteful?

  8. Fly on the wall says:

    So the dogs will romp…on gravel? Why gravel? Wouldn’t grass be preferrable to help keep down odor, especially in the hot, dry summers? Just wondering…

    • Gravel will get hot on the tender pads in the summer heat. Also, when they get running around it can cut their pads. A lot of these dogs will be mostly inside dogs without tough feet. Go to JBarnett park in Winch. The dog park is great, and it’s grass.

      • EagleFan says:

        Some people have to complain about everything! I for one am thankful that someone is taking the initiative to improve our park, whether it meets by standards 100% or not!