Springfield unveils a new dedicated area for dogs at Rothchild Park

SPRINGFIELD – An unused park shows new signs of life in the city of Springfield.

With an abundance of toys and treats, the city welcomed dogs and dog owners to Rothchild Park Thursday for the grand opening of the newly installed Springfield Dog Park.

“It’s a great place to bring the community together,” said Kara Beer, President of the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce. “Having a place to put your dogs in a safe environment is just a remarkable thing. I look forward to seeing this and being able to use it.”

City Manager Vester Davis Jr. began developing plans for the dog park soon after arriving in 2020 and received support from the city council. As part of the process, Davis sought advice from the Home Run Dog Park Committee raised at least $40,000 to help establish a dog park at Battle Creek’s Bailey Park in 2019.

“It’s good to have something like that,” said Springfield Mayor Harry Burdett. “Now we have one on each side of the Springfield-Battle Creek metropolitan area.”

Ramps and tunnels are scattered throughout the fenced compound for dogs to test their agility. The space is only slightly smaller than the 1.5-acre Home Run Dog Park, with no barriers between large and small dogs.

Dog owners and their pets will enjoy the newly opened Springfield Dog Park at Rothchild Park on Thursday, August 25, 2022.

Roger Ballard strolled through the park Thursday with his husband Jim and their miniature long-haired dachshunds, Logan and Frankie. Ballard was among the dedicated volunteers who made the 2019 Home Run Dog Park a reality.

“I’m just so excited about this new[dog park],” Ballard said. “It kind of fills a gap in this park.”

The approximately $30,000 project was made possible through a combination of funds from Calhoun County Park Mill, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Dog owners and their pets will enjoy the newly opened Springfield Dog Park at Rothchild Park on Thursday, August 25, 2022.

To support upkeep and general upkeep of the park, the city has established a fund through the Battle Creek Community Foundation. Interested parties can donate at bccfoundation.org.

“It’s great to have this,” Burdett said. “It will be used a lot and I’m looking forward to it.”

Contact Reporter Greyson Steele at [email protected] or 269-501-5661. Follow him on Twitter: G_SteeleBC

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