CHOTEAU — Two years ago, Polly Cunningham waltzed into Mayor Chris Hindoien’s office and proposed a dog park for Choteau. The mayor was on board and working diligently to find a piece of city land to break ground on.
Cunningham constructed a team and obtained a 501(c)3 non-profit rating for the Friends of the Choteau Dog Park organization.
“Oh, just absolute exhilaration. It's just so much fun to see people gathered in a friendly fashion, and their dogs are enjoying the out-of-doors,” exclaimed Cunningham on the opening Sunday of the Dog Park. “It's just perfect for a dog park because nobody lives around here. There are loads of parking. It doesn't flood, it doesn't have a tree standing. So, we must worry about raking leaves, everything about it.”
The dog park sits east of the City Center in Choteau in the former site of the livestock loading yards.
Choteau received countless donations from community members, which led to the organization applying for a rural community grant through T-Mobile. The heavy community interest led to T-Mobile signing off on a grant of $39,000.
“Choteau is a community that steps up. We're very rich in people who understand what the important things are to make a community that functions and that feels like a great place to live,” explained Lisa Hudnutt, a board member.
Mary Sexton is a community member who flourished in the sunshine with her dog, she also works for the Choteau Port Authority and has been active in tourism for the City of Choteau.
Sexton said, “People traveling through need a place to take their dogs as well as community members. So, this really fits in well with our enhancement of the community, with our bandshell, with fixing up our tennis courts and our swimming pool. Now we have a dog park. Choteau is really working altogether for infrastructure and enhancing our community.”
There are a few rules at the Choteau Dog Park, and one that remains supreme, is clean up after your pet. With signs posted all over the park and free disposable bags in dispensers across the yard.
The Friends of the Choteau Dog Park handles all maintenance for the park and pays for the trash bin that is on site. A major piece of funding goes towards insurance, which is a big spend out of the organization’s pockets.
In the coming weeks, a plumber will install water fountains and allow for running water. Currently, the organization brings jugs of water and fills them up in watering pans.
The Choteau Dog Park is open 7-days a week and offers both a large dog and small dog area.
For more information, or if you would like to donate to the upkeep of the park, click here to visit the website.
The Choteau Dog Park is located at 110 Second Avenue SW. The Choteau Dog Park is also new on Instagram @choteaudogpark.
- Highland Cemetery: decorating changes
- Lawsuit filed: Cascade County election
- Homicide suspects arrested in Great Falls
- College student dies in Glacier National Park
- Recent Obituaries