A grant of $39,140 was presented to the Choteau Community Dog Park by T-Mobile this week. The telecommunication company is investing $25 million into small-town revitalization projects over the next five years, and Choteau has been selected as one of the recipients.
Resident Anna Carlson said a dog park has been needed for quite some time.
"This is part of our whole portfolio of parks in downtown Choteau, and it really adds so much because people come here and they need a place to run their dogs. We have a lot of rodeos, weddings and events, and so now we have a place where dogs can go and where the owners can build community and get to know one another."
The idea of creating a dog park was introduced by Polly Cunningham.
Cunningham stated, "My husband and I travel with our dogs, and as we travel throughout the West, especially in Utah and Arizona, every town we stopped in had a dog park. It was such a pleasant way to interact and meet people, and the dogs were a thrill. I kept thinking, 'Why doesn't Choteau have a dog park?' Tragically, COVID was just starting, so I had to wait a while, but I came home and decided that we should have a dog park. We had an organizational meeting and people arrived and they all thought, 'Yeah, let's have a dog park.'
On June 7th, 2022, the city council approved the plan to create the dog park.
Choteau mayor Chris Hindoien said, "When Polly and her crew showed up at our city council meeting and said, 'We want to have a dog park,' We at the city said, 'We've got the land, but we don't have the resources to do it, and if you guys can put this together, we'll make sure you have adequate land access and we will help out any way we can.' That put Polly and her crew into motion and amazing things started to happen."
The dog park will be in southeast Choteau across the parking area from the Weatherbeater, next to the railroad tracks. The land once was the livestock loading yard.
The 1.25-acre park will consist of two separate fenced areas for big and little dogs, with separate entrances. The 2 yards will be accessorized with dirt piles for digging, boulders and tree trunks for jumping on and over.
Hindoien added, "Truth be known, this is a true, true testament to the city of Choteau on coming together for something that they support. If this community has any type of momentum behind a project, it's going to get done because regardless of political factions or other things, these people come together like no other. When it's time to serve this community."
Fundraising for the park was spearheaded by the Friends of the Choteau Community Dog Park, a non-profit organization run by volunteers. Click here to learn more, or to donate.
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