Covell Dog Park Unleashes Dozens of Dogs and Their Owners

Posted at 5:11 PM, May 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-18 08:40:07-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 17, 2014) – Dozens of dogs and their owners were unleashed Saturday, during the opening of Grand Rapids’ second dog park. Covell Dog Park is free to the public and located in the Northwest side of the City, at the corner of Covell NW and Bridge NW.

Kent County Animal Control Officer Jessica Kooistra said the need for another dog park was clear.

“Knowing that there was only one official dog park in the whole city where you could let your dog loose and run, and not get in trouble, it was kind of a no-brainer to fence in another area and allow the public to be able to go there,” explained Kooistra.

After nearly two years of collaborating with the City of Grand Rapids and collecting about $4,000 in donations, Kooistra and Ryan Terbush helped to let dozens of pups and their owners loose in the grand opening of Covell Dog Park.

“For relatively low cost we were able to drive a lot of value we believe,” said Terbush.

For many dog owners, like Steve Nink and Andrew Nink, Covell Dog Park is the closest space to home in Byron Center where they can let their dog off the leash.

“As an owner, you keep them on a leash and we’re forced to guide them around wherever they go. When we get to take them off the leash they get to experience their own things, running around free, and checking out other dogs,” said Steve Nink.

Kent County Commissioner Carol Hennessey supported this dog park from the start, explaining it’s great exercise for dogs and their people. Hennessy also said there’s a need for more dog parks in Kent County.

“I think we’re going to see more dog parks, and I’ve been told that there is one County park that we’re looking at to do more of, so that we can entertain ourselves and our dogs as well, because that’s what it is, it’s for us as well as it is for our dogs: it’s a way we can safely, securely exercise our dogs,” said Hennessy.

Developers say the dog park is a work in progress. Many dog owners are asking for a space for small dogs in the park, while the City won’t allow any fencing within the park because of a large water tank beneath its grassy field.

For now the park is asking for public feedback on its Facebook page to continue the efforts. They’re always looking for donations and another person who would like to spearhead further growth.

The City of Grand Rapids services the dog park; however, dog park developers said any further improvements depend on public donation.