Village Prepares for Next Phase of Dog Park Contest

Village Prepares for Next Phase of Dog Park Contest
Posted on 06/29/2011

Dog owners from throughout the region have united to help bring a dog park to the Village of Orland Park.

PetSafe, a national pet supply company, is sponsoring the "Bark For Your Park Contest" that will award $100,000 to a United States community for the creation of a dog park. Earlier this month, the village was named one of 25 national semi-finalists, advancing to the next level. Each of the 25 semi-finalist cities must submit a two minute video that meets the PetSafe judges' criteria.

"We wrapped up Orland Park's video this past weekend," said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin, who wouldn't reveal details of the village's entry. "We're keeping it all under wraps," he said smiling.

"We've been talking about a dog park for years and the village has four acres in Centennial Park earmarked for the park," the mayor said. A dog park is currently slated for consideration in the Village Capital Improvement Plan for the year 2016.

Orland Park's plans call for separate areas for big dogs and little dogs with each having benches, drinking fountains, agility equipment and shaded areas.

"Centennial Park was recommended because of its distance from residential areas, proximity to other park amenities, including the walking trails and because the village has land available there," said Trustee Patricia Gira, chair of the village's Recreation and Parks Committee.

More than 100 dog owners and their dogs answered the village's call for participants to close the village's contest video on Sunday, June 26.

"We had a great response for Sunday's video shoot," Gira said. "We had all types of dogs, owners of all ages and entire families from throughout the area help close the village's video," she added.

The Orland Fire Protection District helped with the final shoot and the district's Sparky the Fire Dog appeared in the video.

All semi-finalist cities must submit their videos to PetSafe no later than July 6. On July 13, PetSafe's website, www.BarkForYourPark.com will display the videos of the fifteen finalist cities. Public voting for the videos will determine the contest winner, being available until August 3, 2011.

"We haven't seen a full list of the towns that we're competing against but we do know that there are some fairly large cities in the mix," McLaughlin said. Among the semi-finalist cities are Gloucester, Massachusetts; Huntington, West Virginia; Mission Viejo, California; Mobile, Alabama and Pacifica, California.

Orland Park may be the only Illinois town to advance to the semi-finals. "The closest towns that we found are in Michigan and Iowa," Gira said.

"We're encouraging people to watch PetSafe's website, to find out if the village advances to the next level and to get ready to vote for Orland Park, inviting their family and friends to vote too," Gira said.

Voting is limited to one vote per person, per day, per voting site. PetSafe's voting sites are defined as BarkForYourPark.com and facebook.com/PetSafeBrand.

Popular vote will determine the winning city. During the last week of voting, the PetSafe contest leader board will go dark so that the winning community is surprised with the early August announcement.

"People wrote wonderful things about Orland Park when they nominated the village on PetSafe's website," McLaughlin said, adding "There are nearly 10,000 dogs in Orland Park and the community support has been fantastic. With everyone working together, we're hoping that we can make this happen."

PetSafe Website