RIVERSIDE — Visitors of Riverside’s Hall Park will soon have a place for their four legged friends to wonder thanks to Eagle Scout Matt Butler. The dog park, which Butler has decided to make it his final Eagle Scout project, is expected to be open by the end of the month.
The park is expected to be 115’x165’ and have one portion designated for small dogs and the other for large dogs. The dog park will be installed in the grassy portion of the park, near the ball diamonds, which are currently not being used.
Riverside City Administrator Christine Yancy said Matt Butler, a local Eagle Scout, approached the city council about the possibility of doing the project himself. The city was immediately on board and a small group of volunteers have formed to assist with putting the plan into action.
“He has been very, very good at getting things organized. He called and got an estimate on the fence for us and everything else,” she said. “It’s going to be a nice addition to the park, I think. It’s by the diamonds, but it’s far enough away that it should not be an issue.”
Yancy said the city is hoping to start small with this and hopefully grow the area little by little. Currently, tires will be installed for apparatuses for the dogs to play on, and the hope is other scouts will continue the work with the park to create more places for the canines to play. The city will supply picnic tables as well, and they are hoping more scouts will volunteer to plant trees in the area to create shade for the animals.
At their Tuesday meeting, the Riverside City Council heard bids for fencing for the project and discussed names, but did not come up with one just yet. They are hoping to have the park up and available for use by the end of September. Seeing such a large project put together by a high schooler is a cool feeling, she said, because not many young kids get involved in city affairs, let alone volunteer to arrange the building of a park.
“He’s really put a lot of thought into this; a lot of detail. He recently lost his dog, so this is kind of really special to him to get this area going,” she said. “It’s pretty refreshing, you know you only seem to hear the bad stuff, or if its sports related, and to see someone actually taking a role that’s volunteer related and really becoming active (is great).”