In May 2018, on behalf of the City of Brownsville, Board of Aldermen, and fellow constituents, Mayor Bill Rawls wrote a letter in support of Brownsville’s participation in the 2018 Dog Park Dash grant program. Lacey Gaylord, a teacher at Haywood Elementary School and volunteer with the Humane Society, wrote the grant for the Dog Park Dash through the Boyd Foundation.
The City of Brownsville donated land and allocated resources to support the operation and maintenance of the park. Per Mayor Rawls, “A dog park is a welcomed addition to our community.”
“Haywood County is centrally located within West Tennessee. Haywood County is an agricultural community that has been transformational from segregation to integration and cultural progress. Still, due to its history and poverty rates, Haywood Countians are always striving to find ways to bring people from all walks of life together and positively impact its future. This dog park would provide people from different walks of life in Haywood County to share a space and a connection: Their love of dogs.”
“A dog park in Haywood County would benefit the citizens as well as the pets. This park could potentially be a space where people can connect over their shared interests and share their diverse past. This shared interest, the love of dogs, could spark a change in people. Dog lovers love their pets and connect with other pet owners no matter their race, socio-economic status, or level of education. This could park could spark a change that could radiate over the entire city of Brownsville and out into Haywood County.”
“The dog park would be co-located with a new farmer’s market and Kaboom Playground that was built by community volunteers in a single day. This area surrounding the proposed location will soon have a walking trail and a pavilion open to the public.”
“Another vision of this park would be a place where events could later take place. Events such as dog walk days, a starting and finishing point for a 4 legged 4k to promote health and wellness of pets as well as their owners, or even a place where pet health and spay and neuter awareness events could occur. This could also become a place where volunteers for our local animal shelter and humane society could showcase animals and introduce pets to potential adopters. This could not only become a place of gathering for pets and animal lovers, but also a space that displays the growth of our county as we grow to connect with others. I am pleased to announce that if the City of Brownsville is awarded a grant in the 2018 Dog Park Dash grant program, I will allocate property located at Jefferson Street Farmer’s Market and Playground, Brownsville, TN that consists of approximately 6 acres for use as a dog park.”
The Boyd Foundation
Established in 2018, The Boyd Foundation is guided by Randy Boyd, alongside his wife, Jenny. Randy Boyd is the founder of PetSafe® and former commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Jenny Boyd is passionate about promoting animal welfare, has worked alongside her husband to make Knoxville the most pet-friendly city and is proud to play a significant role in expanding efforts to communities across Tennessee. This new philanthropic entity will be focused on animal welfare and youth education. Tennessee Dog Park Dash is the foundation’s first large project.
The Tennessee Dog Park Dash is a multi-year initiative toward making Tennessee the most pet-friendly state in America. Over the next three years, The Boyd Foundation will award $3 million in total grants for building and enhancement of dog parks in communities across the state.
Small, medium, and large communities are invited to apply for a Dog Park Dash Grant of up to $25,000 to build or improve dog parks in their community. In addition, one community each year will win the grand prize contest of $100,000 for being the most actively engaged in making the Volunteer State the most pet friendly in the country.
The Tennessee Dog Park Dash will impact more than 100 dog parks over the course of three years, including funding more than 36 dog parks across the state in 2018 alone.
Apply online at: dogparkdash.com
Follow Tennessee Dog Park Dash on Facebook and Twitter to get involved.