FIDO (Friends Improving Dog Opportunities) is working to create the Wenatchee Valley’s first public, no-fee dog park. It will be along the loop trail south of Pybus market, near the pipeline bridge. FIDO is an all-volunteer group working under the umbrella of the nonprofit Wenatchee Valley Sports Foundation. We are coordinating with the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society and Wenatchee City Parks on this project. Our vision is to create a network of public, no-fee, off-leash areas in the greater Wenatchee Valley (Chelan & Douglas counties).FIDO and the city are developing a model of working together such that construction costs and ongoing maintenance are shared. The cost to develop phase one of the park is estimated at $250,000. This includes vandal-resistant fencing (6 feet high and buried), double-entry gates, separate small and large-dog areas, ground preparation, and signage. FIDO is working hard on fundraising and we hope the project will get started next year. The property was recently surveyed so that fencing along the railroad side can begin soon, and the City is applying for necessary permits to proceed with initial groundwork.Join us on Sunday Oct 5, from 3-5 pm for “FIDO Funday: Raffles for Rover,” at the Chateau Faire le Pont winery. Purchase your admission and raffle tickets at the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, or at the door. Raffle donations include Native Indian tribal rugs, a Thomas Kinkade painting, a spa basket, gym membership and more! All proceeds from raffle ticket sales will go towards park construction.FIDO holds monthly “Pack Walks” which are fun social events. Join us with your dog on a leash on Saturday, Sept 27, at 9 am. We will meet on the loop trail behind Pybus market, and you can walk as far as you wish. No pre-registration is needed.FIDO is developing alliances with other associations in the area. We are now part of the “Wenatchee Outdoors Alliance,” an umbrella group for all who participate in outdoor activities. Watch for some of our combined events in the future. We are working with the Arts on the Avenues group to hopefully obtain a sculpture for the dog park entrance (we are looking at the Labrador sculpture by Georgia Gerber that is in front of the PAC building). We are working with the Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship to have information about the dog park included in one of their “Listening posts” that will be created along the loop trail.Dog parks are the fastest growing park type in the U.S. These parks create a designated place where dog owners and their dogs can socialize and exercise. About 40% of households own a dog, which is similar to the percentage of households with children. Dog owners include people of all ages, abilities, and socioeconomic status. The number one outdoor activity in terms of frequency is walking with a dog. For many people, this is their only exercise or outdoor activity.Our loop trail is a magnificent asset. Imagine the loop trail south of Pybus market to beyond the pipeline bridge, as it might appear in three years! At the south end you will see the entrance to a well-maintained area with people and their dogs happily socializing outdoors.FIDO and on FaceBook Wenatchee FIDO

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