FLINT TWP — A local advocate of dog parks broached the idea of creating one here, in a brief pitch to the township board at its Monday night meeting.
“If there was to be dog park here in Flint Township, every resident in Genesee County would be no more than 20 minutes away from a park,‘’ said Kris Johns, of Mundy Township, who is spearheading a dog park effort in Grand Blanc targeted to open next spring. Davison Township opened one this fall, he said.
Johns addressed the board at the request of members of the township’s Parks and Recreation Commission whom he met with last month to discuss the idea.
Between the many apartment complexes and subdivisions in the township, there are many dog owners who would welcome a place to let their dog off the leash to run and play, Johns said.
Flint Township has a domestic animal ordinance prohibiting owners from allowing dogs to run “at large’’ off their property unless restrained by a leash no longer than eight-feet long and held by a person able to control it.
Johns also cited the economic benefits of dog lovers who spend a lot of money on their pets.
Also, he said having a dog park would encourage people of all ages to get outdoors and be active.
Johns said he has talked to Flint Township residents who expressed interest in a local dog park because Davison and Grand Blanc are too far.
As a model, Johns cited a public half-acre dog park in Frankenmuth which he said is the most popular and highly-trafficked part of the entire park system there.
After Johns spoke, Township Supervisor Karyn Miller invited him to continue to work with the parks and rec commission to come up with a proposal to present to the board for consideration in the new year.
Costs and location were not discussed but the threeacre Davison Area Dog Park reportedly cost more than $55,000 which was raised though private donations and fundraisers. It is located on Gale Road next to the Black Creek Trail. Johns is part of an effort in Grand Blanc to raise $100,000 for a three-acre dog park at Creasey Bicentennial Park, 1505 E. Grand Blanc Rd.
The first official dog park in the United States reportedly opened in Berkeley, Ca. in 1979. Now it is estimated that there are hundreds of dog parks located in every state including at least 45 in Michigan, according to bringfido.com.