What a Switch – Council Receives Money
Dog Park Pays Light Bill for 20 Years
City Councils are accustomed to groups coming to them with requests for money. But at their meeting Monday night the Culver City Council received money from a group.
Friends of the Culver City Dog Park presented the Council with a giant mock-up of a check for $35,000, a photo-op gimmick that required the entire Council and several of the Friends to hold the check up as they were photographed. (Yes, there was a real check for $35,000, delivered by hand).
The money will go toward paying for electricity for the Dog Park for the next 20 to 30 years. The major donator was Mike Burnell’s Nantworks computer company.
“We’re happy to give money,” said Friends of the Dog Park chair Vicki Daly Redholtz.
“This park started with six people and a dream. Through good contributions from individuals, we were able to make this dream come true.”
That dream, “The Boneyard,” Culver City’s Dog Park, began in July, 2001, when a small group—there were indeed only six of them—met to discuss a place where dogs could be brought for exercise and socializing with other dogs. The first official meeting to plan the park brought out 18 people. Gradually the support swelled to over 2,000 members.
Over the next five years, grassroots fundraising raised more than $21,000 toward the building of the park, while the City Council heard from residents about their enthusiasm for the project. In April 2003, the Council voted to designate the “Bone Yard” area of Culver City Park for the dog park and later received a grant from the EPA to clean up the site. In April, 2006, The Boneyard officially opened.
The Friends showed a short and amusing PowerPoint video about the history of the Dog Park.
To the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” the video featured photos of people building the retaining wall, installing fountains, and putting in park benches for the humans. The Dog Park in action showed dogs getting exercise and dogs meeting other dogs of all breeds, sizes, and styles.
Thanks to donations, the Dog Park now has night lighting and new hours—it is open from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
“We have something to give you, too,” said Vice Mayor Jeff Cooper. As the Friends assembled for the photo-op with the giant check, the Council presented the Friends and Burnell with commendations.
“There’s a lot of hard work and sweat over the years that these people have done,” added Cooper.
Redholtz concluded: ‘We’re proud that the Friends have set an example for other groups. We’re not going to the city and asking ‘What can you do for us?’ but rather, ‘What can we do for you?’ We hope other cities will follow our example.”