The park is conveniently located near the intersection of Loop 49 and Old Jacksonville Hwy (FM 2493) on Baggett Road (County Road 166), and is scheduled to open on June 1.
The Sunrise Paw Park is a joint project between the Tyler Sunrise Rotary Club and the Anderson-Vukelja Foundation, both organizations dedicated to serving and improving the community. The foundation donated the spacious land, and the Rotary Club will help with fundraising and ongoing maintenance of the park.
“As a dog owner, I have looked forward to this park for a long time,” said Dr. Lawrence Anderson of the Anderson-Vukelja Foundation. “I know how much joy dogs can bring, and our hope is this park will be a gathering place to connect dog lovers in the community.”
The park in South Tyler totals four acres with three fenced-in acres allowing separate play areas for large and small dogs. Additional park features include:
Central pavilion for gatherings, fundraisers or vendor expo events, Dog washing station, Water fountains accommodating both owners and water spouts for pets, Shaded areas and benches providing closer proximity for dog-watching.
“We found that there was a need for a dog park in the area, and this is a service project that would benefit the community,” Sunrise Rotary President Mark Cox said. “This project has been moving very fast, and we are pleased with the results.”
To help raise funds, there is a challenge grant of $50,000 in order to finish the park. Any money donated will be matched by the Anderson-Vukelja Foundation up to this amount. The Rotary Club is coordinating all donations and those interested can donate or volunteer their efforts. People also will have the opportunity to dedicate a paver or a sitting bench to their dog, in connection with their donation.
“We have been received an overwhelming response from the community,” said Lauren LaGrave, media contact for the Tyler Rotary Club. “I receive messages every day from people willing to help. It’s been very heartwarming to see people come together and get excited about this dog park.” The park’s Facebook page was created on a Thursday evening, and by Monday morning had more than 600 likes.
Organizers hope Sunrise Paw Park will not only become a place for dogs to play and pet owners to socialize, but also a center for general dog wellness, future events and other pet initiatives.
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