Shelly Moulyn and Jaime Fountain are part of a grassroots effort that’s working towards putting a dog park in the City of Ripon.
As representatives of the Ripon Dog Park, they’ve been meeting regularly with a handful of interested locals for about a year.
“We’ve learned that the City has designated an area adjacent and behind the animal shelter for establishing a dog park,” Moulyn said during public discussion at last week’s Ripon City Council meeting.
Once her group becomes a non-profit organization – the Ripon Dog Park folks will look to pay a $30 fee necessary to become incorporated before filing a 501c3 for tax exempt status (another $850 in donations will be needed here) – it’ll become “Friends of the Ripon Dog Park.”
The goal is to have a dog park in place to match the aesthetics of the City.
“We want it to have the curb appeal and functionality (of Ripon),” Moulyn said.
The dog park could also benefit the animal shelter, providing a place for the dogs there to have a place to run around.
Fountain added that the group has been with several city officials and elected leaders, including the late Mayor Elden “Red” Nutt.
“He was a strong supporter of the dog park,” she said. “We held off on several of our meetings shortly after he passed away – we had been moving forward.”
The dog park group is back, picking up momentum once again.
Councilman Mike Restuccia has attended some of the dog park meetings. His colleague, Mark Winchell, made the most recent gathering at Round Table Pizza, 150 N. Wilma Ave.
The group will meet this Thursday at the local Round Table beginning at 6:30 p.m. Moulyn and Fountain will provide an update from their council visit.
They’ve already worked with an engineer to get an idea of the cost – site plans, fencing, and equipment.
“It’s expensive,” Fountain said. “But we’ve been moving quickly.”
The dog park group, in addition, is looking to get someone from the council on board.
“We can’t do that (in public discussion),” Mayor Leo Zuber said. “But we can if we bring it back as an agenda item for an upcoming meeting.”
In addition, the dog park will be required to feature drought-tolerant plants, in part, to comply with the city ordinance on water conservation.
For more information or to make a donation, call Fountain at 209.815.2388 or click on to Ripon Dog Park at www.Facebook.com.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, email firstname.lastname@example.org.