April 22, 2021

Parks and Rec approves tentative dog park site in memory of Creston teen

The Parks and Recreation board met 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the site of Lexi’s Puppy Patch. Jeremy Rounds and Angie Wegsheid, the parents of the late Alexis Rounds, appeared before the board to suggest sites for the dog park to be build in her honor.

Lexi’s Puppy Patch

The Rounds family came up the idea for the dog park after their daughter’s fatal car accident Dec. 8. The project is one that Lexi wanted to see happen in Creston, so her parents decided it was a wish they wanted to honor.

Rounds told the board the park would bring Creston up to date with communities like Winterset and Harlan, with each having their own dog parks for a couple of years. The park would be maintained by both volunteers and the city.

There has been interest and support in the community but they have had difficulty fundraising due to the lack of a definitive location. Rounds said he wouldn’t be able to estimate the costs of the project without having a certain location picked out. Rounds expressed urgency on the matter on deciding a location,

“We have a fence company coming on April the 12th, from what I understand, that will be looking at whatever site that is chosen,” he said..

Rounds added that a specific location is crucial to meet grant application deadlines for the project.

The Rounds wanted to have the park in McKinley Park, either near the C.A.R.E. animal shelter, or near the veterans’ statue. Both of these sites are located on a high enough plane so they don’t become swamped after heavy rainfall and have plenty of shade.

Rounds also spoke of how big the family expects the park to be,

“We’re probably anticipating anywhere from one to five people with their dogs at a time most of the time, when the weather is decent,” he said. “We’re not talking like a large number of people here.”

The board expressed some concern that the city would be liable for dog attacks.

Wegscheid said that by allowing for enough space, the chances of conflict in the park decrease.

“The bigger square footage you have the safer it is,” she said. “Because when you put five dogs in 10 square feet, they’re going to be more aggressive, whereas if they had a 100 square feet, there’s a lot more space for them to run and all of that.”

The Parks and Recreation Board was considering these spots for development of other projects, but both the Rounds and the board agreed to place the tentative location of the dog park near the baseball field on Spillway Road, and await the estimate to give final approval.

Rounds said some investments in water and soil at the location will have to be made so that dogs can stay hydrated at the park and that the area doesn’t become swamped.

The family wants a partition between where big dogs and small dogs can play. They also said that dogs will be required to be vaccinated.

In other Creston Park and Recreation Board news, the board:

• approved Party in the Park for either Jun. 18 or 19 depending on the availability of musical acts in that time. Initial estimates are $5,000 to $7,500 to get cover bands booked and for necessary equipment.

• approved a $2 million bond referendum for McKinley Lake Restoration.