Anderson dog park becomes focal point of new community green space
By Lauren Wright
The HYPE Project & Let’s Go! South Carolina Graduate Assistant
It’s not just we humans that need physical activity; our four-legged friends need exercise, too! City of Anderson residents will soon have a new place for their pooches to play. The Anderson Downtown TBA Dog Park will be a community green space with the focal point being a dog park. The park site is undergoing careful preparation for construction that should begin mid October with the dedication planned by Thanksgiving. The 3-acre green space will be located a few blocks from downtown Anderson and will be open to the public from dawn until dusk. The park will feature a fountain and two fenced-in areas for dogs to play, one for small dogs and one for large dogs over 20 pounds.
The chair of the Anderson Dog Park Committee, Dr. Marshall Meadors, who is also a family physician and a member of Eat Smart Move More Anderson County, has poured his heart and soul into this project.
“Other than what I do as a family physician, completing this dog park is my number one passion,” Meadors said. “Over the years I’ve traveled to places around the state and around the country and visited different dog parks. At first I just stumbled across them, but now whenever I go somewhere I seek out dog parks. I’ve been amazed at how it’s a gathering place for people and their dogs, and that’s why I want to create our own park in Anderson.”
The Anderson Downtown TBA Dog Park is a joint project between the City of Anderson, Anderson County, AnMed, and To Benefit Anderson (TBA), an entity that represents private donors. The county and AnMed will lease the land to the city for a small fee per year for 50 years, and the construction costs will be covered by $100,000 raised by TBA through the Foothills Community Foundation. Once completed, the city will be in charge of park maintenance.
Meadors believes that this new dog park will be a much-needed addition to the community.
“If you go to downtown Anderson and just observe for a day, you would be amazed by the number of people walking up and down the street with their dogs,” he said. “In Anderson we have a leash law so you’re not supposed to let your dog run free. There is no public space where you can unleash your dogs and let them run and play. This park will meet that need.”
Local dogs aren’t the only ones that will benefit from the creation of the dog park. “Both owners and their dogs will benefit from the social interactions they’ll have at the dog park. People who live downtown or nearby can bring their dogs and let them run, play, and interact. It’s amazing how therapeutic that interaction seems to be and how it seems to enhance the development of the whole community,” said Meadors.
A mulched walking path is also planned around the entire perimeter of the park.
“That way,” said Meadors, “even people who don’t have a dog can come out and enjoy the space. We’re about enhancing the quality of life of both people and dogs.”