Goose Creek resident sees need for dog park

  • Friday, August 22, 2014

Steve McDaniel/Gazette Martha Archibald and her dog, Q-Tip, at the lake behind the Goose Creek Municipal Complex. Archibald is seeking town approval to build a dog park.

A swelling population is testament to the fact that Goose Creek meets the criteria many people look for in a place to live.

One thing is missing that Lowcountry native Martha Archibald would like to add: a dog park.

“I want this park for many different reasons,” she said on a recent sweltering afternoon with her dog, Q-Tip, at the walking trail behind the municipal complex. “Most of all, it is for the social part of it, so people can meet each other and spend time with their dogs.”

Archibald has been gauging interest informally for a while now, talking to other residents she sees out with their dogs, asking neighbors and friends about their interest.

“I’ve been out in the community and talked to people with dogs,” she said. “They seem happy about the idea of it.”

She started her journey through official channels at the Aug. 12 city council meeting, where she spoke before the council about her proposal.

“I think it was well received (by council members). I believe they saw it as a favorable thing to do, so I have high hopes.”

She has one key advocate in her quest. Mayor Michael Heitzler said he’s in favor of the idea of a dog park in his town.

“I’d like to see it. It’s a relatively inexpensive venture, and would enhance our community,” he said.

A likely funding source would be the recently implemented hospitality tax, Heitzler said.

“It’s designed to build things that would bring people to the community,” he said. “And that’s hopefully what a dog park would do.”

Archibald and Heitzler also agree on a potential site for the park. The city owns a 30-acre tract of power-line easement property near the Wannamaker North bike trailhead off Westview Boulevard, and has already secured a state grant for improvements and relocation of the parking lot there.

“Folks have asked me if we could make the power-line easement more attractive,” Heitzler said. “And this would be a way to do that.”

Heitzler added that community interest must be considered before the idea can advance.

“I wonder how many people would use it,” he said. “That’s one issue we have to address.”

Archibald intends to move forward with her mission, hoping to gain approval and eventual construction of a place where Q-Tip and other four-legged friends can socialize, along with their human companions.

“There are a lot of dogs in Goose Creek,” she said. “So I think this is something that would be popular in the community.”

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