By Dave Ongie
The town of Jonesborough received a $25,000 grant on Friday from the Boyd Foundation for the construction of a new dog park.
Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd was on hand to present the check to the town, and he explained the events that led him and his wife Jenny to award a combined $1 million to cities and towns across the state through the Dog Park Dash Grant. It all started about 10 years ago at a fundraiser Boyd attended where the president of PetSmart’s charity lumped Tennessee in with other “backwater” states like Louisiana and Mississippi when it came to the treatment of dogs.
“It felt like every eye in the room was looking at me,” Boyd said.
So the Boyds started working to make Knoxville more dog-friendly, and their initiative has now spread statewide.
Jonesborough mayor Chuck Vest expressed plenty of excitement about receiving the grant, which will allow the town to construct a three-acre dog park on property located just off State Route 34. Plans are to include an interactive water feature for dogs, seating areas for humans and beautiful landscaping in hopes of increasing the quality of life for canine residents around the area.
Randy Boyd said dog parks also have the ability to improve the lives of the people who show up at the park with their dogs. He said occasionally a republican and a democrat will even find themselves sharing a bench as their dogs get some exercise.
“In our world today, there is so much derision and strife,” Boyd said. “We need ways to bring people together. Parks are an excellent way to do that.”