downtown cleveland alliance launches crowdfunding campaign for new flats dog park

An economic development professor at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University once told our class that he knew downtown Cleveland was coming back when he saw the occasional pile of dog waste on the sidewalk. Yes, owners should pick up after their pooches, but the mere presence of pets downtown is a good indicator that the neighborhood is walkable and safe.

But now, downtown Cleveland is really going to the dogs. The neighborhood has become so vibrant and liveable in the past few years that there are now more people and pets than ever. With more than 12,500 residents, apartment occupancy rates at 98 percent and more than 1,000 registered dogs, the area is in need of a dog park.

That's why Downtown Cleveland Alliance is launching a crowdfunding campaign to create a new dog park at Settlers Landing in the Flats. The campaign aims to raise $10,000, which DCA will match dollar for dollar. The park is slated to open this fall.

According to a release from DCA, the park will be located in an "open area adjacent to the RTA rapid station on the eastern bank of the Cuyahoga River. Equipped with pea gravel, fencing, a gated entrance, and benches for their human friends, dogs will have the ability to socialize and play right in the city they call home."

The crowdfunding campaign, which runs for four weeks on the Cleveland-based Tackk site, will offer rewards such as retractable leashes and t-shirts. It will be open for four weeks. Sponsors at the $500 level will be recognized with plaques along the fence of the dog park. Various contests throughout the campaign will be announced on DCA's Facebook page, so look out for some cool prizes.

Read more articles by Lee Chilcote.

Lee Chilcote is founder and editor of The Land. He is the author of the poetry chapbooks The Shape of Home and How to Live in Ruins. His writing has been published by Vanity Fair, Next City, Belt and many literary journals as well as in The Cleveland Neighborhood Guidebook, The Cleveland Anthology and A Race Anthology: Dispatches and Artifacts from a Segregated City. He is a founder and former executive director of Literary Cleveland. He lives in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood of Cleveland with his family.