My experience with the Beneful Dream Dog Park Project happened in a quaint neighborhood, known for French Colonial style architecture–the largest concentration of this type of architecture, in fact, placing it on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
The neighborhood lined with open air galleried front porches and double front doors, made with cut limestone from local quarries between 1820-1850 is known as Frenchtown and it was here Beneful launched the first Dream Dog Park Project of 2016.
Frenchtown was the home of Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, the fur trader who founded the windy city, and where explorers Lewis and Clark dined before departing on their exploration west.
My visit wasn’t a tour of the fame, it was to help with the beautification of the Frenchtown Dog Park.
Located in Soulard, the Frenchtown Dog Park Association owns 1.5 acres of land, of which ¾ of an acre is currently fenced off and used by members of the community and their dogs. As a 501c non-profit, the dog park’s operating costs are barely covered by donations, fundraisers, and yearly membership fees, leaving little money left over to expand the dog park to its full 1.5-acre potential.
It all started, once upon a time, as a contest. Each year, Beneful chose a community and completed a Dream Park renovation. It brought into the spotlight the need for dog parks and the contest evolved into Beneful lending a paw to help more communities nationwide.
In 2016, Beneful’s goal is to support 12 parks through their program with donations and service days to bring community dog park dreams to life. Beneful has teamed up with crowdfunding site GoFundMe to encourage more dog lovers to seek and provide financial support for dog park improvement.
I’ve shared a little bit about our rescue dog Jeb, and the reality that when we captured him and committed to being his family, we stole freedom from him.
He is an active dog and requires long walks, often. We have had him 11-months and it has just been in the past few weeks where we can unleash him and let him be in our backyard with us. This is a HUGE development.
Jeb is one of the reasons I find the Beneful Dream Dog Park to be such an awesome outreach to communities.
I recognize the need for dogs to get exercise. I also know that a lot of our socialization with our neighbors occurs when we are out and about with Jeb and Bailey Mae. Bailey Mae has never met a stranger and just knows everyone wants to rub her belly. Jeb is a little more cautious, but he likes to socialize on his own terms.
On my last day in St. Louis, the weather was wonderful and we helped fulfill the Frenchtown Dog Park Associations dream to acquire additional fencing, water, and waste stations. They are looking to increase the park size to 1.5-acres so more dogs and owners can socialize safely within the city.
During our visit, Nestle Purina’s Beneful Dream Dog Park Project announced they will be matching every dollar donated to the Frenchtown Dog Park Association up to $7,500 so that they will be one step closer to achieving their dreams of expanding the Dog Park.
We live in a rural area, there is a nice park up the hill from where we live and plenty of trails for the dogs to join us on walks. Our community requires our dogs be leashed when we are out and about, except at the dog park.
A dog park offers an off-leash experience where dogs can run, engage in dog-to-dog social interaction and play. A dog park is a great resource for those with a small yard, no yard, or who just want to allow their dog off the leash.
Beneful is encouraging dog owners in their communities to create a campaign for their local dog park to raise awareness and funds. Each month Beneful will support new dog park projects and spotlight a GoFundMe campaign on DreamDogPark.com via their social media channels. Spotlighted campaigns will receive dollar-for-dollar donation matching from Beneful to help communities reach their goal.
Beneful offers tips on dog park renovations here!
There’s still plenty of time left to initiate your own campaign and treat Fido and your community to a beautiful dog park through the Beneful Dream Dog Park project.
This post is brought to you by Beneful, as I am a 2016 Beneful Blogger. All opinions are my own.