|As we move forward from a challenging 2020 and into a hopeful New Year, we would like to express our gratitude to some of the people whose generous contributions supported the Horner Park Dog Park. In 2020, the Horner Park Dog Friendly Area Committee launched the “Adopt a Bench” program, in which individuals, families, and community groups could sponsor an individual bench with a commemorative plaque or contribute to a community bench to be installed in the Horner Park Dog Park. The funds raised from the “Adopt a Bench” program support the next phase of improvements to the Horner Park Dog Park (currently in progress), including a paved entryway, water feature, and fencing for a small dog area within the dog park. We greatly appreciate all those who generously contributed to the “Adopt a Bench” program and would like to spotlight a few of them to say, “Thank you!”|
Individual Bench Sponsors
We are grateful to those who sponsored an individual bench to be installed in the dog park. Get to know the sponsors of the individual benches:
Dr. Cynthia Olsen
Dr. Olsen is a veterinarian at Ravenswood Animal Hospital, located just across from Horner Park. Her family includes 2 cats, a horse, and a 3 year-old Shiba Inu named Ren (who has been featured in the Horner Park Dog Park calendar). Dr. Olsen says Ren is her “best friend” who loves hanging out with her horse, Troubador.
Dr. Olsen supports the dog park because, “it promotes a sense of community, as well as provides an opportunity for a more active lifestyle.” She notes that the thing she likes best about the dog park is “that it strengthens the human-animal bond.” Dr. Olsen stated that she sponsored an individual bench to support the Horner Park Dog Park and to honor her former mentor. In describing her former mentor, to whom her bench is dedicated, she said, “Dr. Joel Bornstein was an amazing veterinarian who passed away 9 years ago. He was my mentor and my friend. It was truly an honor work beside him.”
Nicole and Patrick Fisher
Sir Francis Bacon, (aka “Bacon”), an 11 year-old Brittany, has been a member of the Fisher family since he was a puppy. Bacon’s name stems from Patrick’s days as a Philosophy major and the family describes him as “the largest, laziest pup in his litter,” as well as energetic and an enthusiastic snuggler. They report that he is also somewhat famous in the neighborhood because of his friendly disposition, noting, “Who can resist his pink nose and nub tail?”
The Fisher family’s trips to the dog park are one of their favorite weekend activities, giving Bacon a chance to get some activity and the kids a chance to interact with the dogs. They state that the best part about the dog park is, “the human aspect of the dog park,” and that, “it’s such a joyful reason for the community to come together!” They dedicated their bench to Bacon in support of the dog park and explain, “The bench symbolizes the important element of bringing people together as well as their dogs. This is what we enjoy about the dog park—meeting and getting to know neighbors, united by our common love of dogs.” They also like the location and size of the dog park, and look forward to the Phase II improvements.
The Fishers note that the pandemic has given them more time to reflect as well as more time with Bacon. They remind us that Bacon’s philosophy for staying grounded during turbulent times is a good one: “Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Community Bench Donors
Many people came together to support the installation of a “Community Bench” in the Horner Park Dog Park. Get to know a few of the Community Bench Donors:
Amber and Armando Flores
Amber and Armando’s family includes a 4 year-old hound mix named Jett (also a former calendar model), who loves to cuddle, is stubborn, spoiled, and the “sweetest lady you’ll ever meet.” On her trips to the Horner Park Dog Park 2-3 times per month, Jett enjoys watching the other dogs and being chased. The Flores family decided to contribute because, “Having a dog park is great for the neighborhood. Every dog owner I speak to loves to bring their dog to the park and being able to enhance the dog park would only bring more joy. We also love that there is a park that we can walk to.” Their favorite thing about the dog park is its size, which gives Jett a lot of space to run as fast as she can. They also note that they look forward to the installation of water features and dog-friendly turf, which will make Horner Park Dog Park “the greatest dog park in Cook County.”
The Flores family states that they support the Horner Park Dog Park because, “With as many multifamily homes in our neighborhood that do not have a yard of their own this provides those dog owners the ability to let their dogs run loose and socialize with other dogs. The people on the DFA work so hard to provide this for the community. I think it’s really important to support them and bring the community together.”
In June 2020, Ian welcomed a Keeshond puppy named Boba Fett into his family. Boba Fett is a frequent visitor to the Horner Park Dog Park, with trips to the park every weekend. Ian reports that he likes Horner Park Dog park because of its size, popularity, and the fact that the surface is not concrete or gravel. He looks forward to planned improvements, including the dog-friendly turf and landscaping.
Ian stated that he contributed to the Community Bench because, “I wanted to support the completion of the dog park and the community bench felt like a concrete way of doing so.” Ian supports the dog park because he finds it to be “a very nice park with a lot of visitors,” likes the plans for future improvements, and would like to see it completed.
Community Group Sponsors
One of the benches was “adopted” for the Horner Park Dog Friendly Area Committee. Get to know a member of the Horner Park Dog Friendly Area Committee:
Erica’s family rescued their pointer collie mix from PAWS in 2011. She states, “I have been serving on the dog park committee for the past 8 years, and I have seen how hard so many people have worked to make this happen from navigating the process with the Park District to organizing fundraisers to managing social media to cleaning up the dog park. Many people don’t realize that the dog park is entirely community funded and maintained. I want to share my gratitude for the dedicated volunteers who have worked tirelessly to build and care for this dog park that we all love. I wish there were space for all of their names! I would also like to encourage others to join the committee and lend a hand in making our dog park the nicest one in the City!”
Erica describes the dog park as “a great place for dogs to get their ya-yas out, but just as importantly it’s a welcoming community gathering space where neighbors can get to know each other.” She notes that people of all ages come to the dog park—even those without pets who come to play with the dogs.
We would like to thank all who contributed to the “Adopt a Bench” program to support the next phase of improvements to the Horner Park Dog Park. Your generous donations help to make progress on all planned improvements to the park and we could not do it without your support! Please note, there is still one bench “up for adoption” so if you or your community group would like to start off the New Year by supporting the Horner Park Dog Park by adopting a bench, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like to thank all those who have supported the dog park through donations and volunteering. If you are interested in volunteering with the Horner Park Dog Friendly Area Committee, please reach out. Happy New Year to all!
1/5/21 – UPDATE: We still do not have an exact date on construction completion from CPD, but we are anticipating construction to run at least through January. We’ll post more info as it becomes available to us.
Original Post: Construction is officially underway and will take approximately six to eight weeks. Please keep checking our Facebook, Instagram and/or this Website for updates. We will do our best to keep you informed. We ask that you kindly respect the closure signs and also respect city and park ordinances which prohibit off-leash dogs in other areas of the park or on the tennis courts.
Waiting won’t be easy, but you will have an autumn red brick paved entryway, a drinking fountain for people and for pets, a water play area complete with a water-spraying red fire hydrant, a separately fenced off small dog area, and benches to look forward to. Because we did not have enough funding, the turf play fields and other landscaping and amenities will have to wait. Note that we are still taking donations to that end: Venmo, Paypal, Mailing a Check and other options for donating can be found here. Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout this process. Stay well.
The Dog Park is open as of Wednesday October 28. However it will be closed during construction which is now supposed to start on Monday, November 2nd. It is expected to take approximately 6-8 weeks.
Please keep checking our Facebook, Instagram and/or Website for updates. We will do our best to keep you informed. However, please note that we are not always given information in advance and will not always have real-time answers for you.
We ask that you respect the closure signs and also respect city and park ordinances which prohibit off-leash dogs in other areas of the park or on the tennis courts. At the end of the day, you will have a beautiful new paved entry way, a water fountain, a water play area, a small dog area, benches and repaired fences. Unfortunately because we did not have enough funding, the turf play fields and other landscaping and amenities will have to wait. Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout this process. Fingers crossed for good construction weather! And as always, if you love your park – help get it finished by donating here.
We have been told by the Park District that they anticipate that the contractors will begin construction work sometime next week. Please keep checking our Facebook, Instagram and/or this Website for updates regarding closures. We will do our best to keep you informed. However, please note that we are not always given information in advance and will not always have real-time answers for you. We hope to provide more detail regarding the construction timeline and completion date as the information becomes available to us. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding throughout this process.
Finally, please continue to give what you can and encourage others to do the same so we can get as much done as possible as soon as possible. This dog park is being built by you! Venmo, Paypal, Mail a Check and other options for donating can be found here: https://hornerparkdogpark.org/donate/ Fingers crossed for good construction weather!
Good News, Bad News! Which do you want first?
Good news: Phase II drawings are officially out for bid! The Chicago Park District will review the bids when they are returned in two weeks and hopefully have a contractor selected by early October with construction ready to start soon after.
Bad news: When construction starts the dog park will be closed for a period of time, so please keep checking our Facebook, Instagram or Website for updates.
Good news: This means that we may be getting a paved entryway, water fountain, water play area, small dog area, turf play fields, benches and other improvements to make your dog park experience even more enjoyable in every kind of weather.
Bad news: We don’t yet have the money to pay for all of this. We are about $40,000 short of estimated costs, and we only have another few weeks to raise it or risk having the project reduced or postponed.
Good news: We still have time. Help us get the funds we need to get everything built this year! Venmo, Paypal, Mail a Check and other options for donating can be found here https://hornerparkdogpark.org/donate/ If everyone who uses the dog park gave a one-time donation of just $20, we would reach our goal. Please share this information with people you meet at the dog park–many people still don’t know–and encourage them to donate as well so we can build our new dog park, together, today.
UPDATE: the tree is being removed this morning and should be open by noon on Aug 21.
Although we were told that the tree removal team was not going to get to us until next week, they actually came this morning. Apologies to those who were asked to leave. On the upside, this means that the park will not have to be closed next Tuesday or Wednesday. The downed tree on the East side was removed and they also trimmed other tree branches inside the dog park. Orange snow fencing indicates where the fence panels are damaged. Please stay clear of these areas until we can get new metal fencing installed. Thank you.
The dog park sustained damage in last week’s storms and will be closed for tree removal and repair. The tree that damaged the north fence has been removed and we are working to set up a temporary barrier to prevent injury or easy escape until new fence posts and panels can be ordered and installed. We intend to make similar accommodations on the east side, but cannot begin until the tree that is currently resting on that fence is removed.
The tree removal folks were supposed to come Tuesday Aug 18, but may have been called away to attend another job. We do not know when they will be back and so we cannot say when the dog park will be reopened. What we do know is that we don’t want the tree folks to come and go leaving the east fence wide open and then have someone visit the dog park after they leave but before we can secure the gap, and let their dog off leash only to see them run out the opposite side. As such, we ask for your help in following these guidelines, as it directly impacts how quickly we can get the fence repaired.
We will keep you posted as to any further updates, and let you know as soon as it can be opened again. Thank you for your patience and understanding and adherence to the closure.
It’s the Home Stretch!!
Always wanted to see your name in print? Love your friendly neighborhood dog park and can’t wait for it to have water fountains, a paved entry, small dog area and more?
We know that the timing isn’t good. In fact, it’s terrible! But here’s the thing: We have to make a final push to get the last $50,000 we need to complete Phase II now as the drawings are going out to bid. If we can’t raise the money by the time the contract is assigned, we will have to make half of the renovations now and the rest at a later date. This will be more expensive and more disruptive at the end of the day, so let’s get this done!
Our design has two benches in the small dog area and three in the large dog area. Each has a customizable plaque. So take this opportunity to commemorate a special occasion or to remember a special person or a special dog. Plus, you’ll be invited to an exclusive ceremony to dedicate your bench. Plaques can have up to 48 characters across four lines, so there’s room to go in on it with a friend too.
1. Sponsor a memorial bench outright: Two available for instant purchase
2. Bid on an honoree bench: Two available for bid
3. Purchase a share in our awesome community bench (only 60 spots! Grab yours now!!)
4. Click here and contribute what you can by using the green “donate” button on the upper right hand corner of the page
Thank you in advance for whatever you can do. Be safe and be well.
Monday June 8 – The dog park has reopened!! Thank you for your patience and continued support. We just kindly request that you enjoy the park safely according to current social distancing requirements. Now let those doggos R-U-N!!
WEDNESDAY APRIL 15, 2020: The Chicago Park District will be temporarily closing the Horner Park Dog Park due to concerns regarding the spread of Covid-19. We do not know when it will be reopened. Thank you for respecting this decision. We will keep you posted as to any further updates.
Participatory budgeting is underway in the 33rd Ward. Here’s your opportunity to help provide $25K to help complete the dog park. What does this mean for you?
- A dog park with proper turf and water facilities, so that it can be used in any type of weather conditions (read: No More Mud!)
- A small dog area for the lil’ guys, so they don’t feel overwhelmed by dogs twice their size
- Less pleading on our part to ask for more money from people who have already donated
- Higher property values for all residents, whether you own a dog or not. Check it here: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/suntrust-survey-mortgages-are-going-to-the-dogs-300493476.html
If you live in the ward and are 14+ years, you can get a ballot by clicking here: https//:tinyurl.com/vote4dogs. It takes 1 minute out of your day, please help💚💙🐾 You may also vote in person at the 33rd Ward Office: 3001 W. Irving Park Rd. Office: 773-840-7880 for hours and deets.
So, How close are we to being fully funded? We are within striking distance, and the $25K from the Participatory Budgeting vote will get us that much closer. In round numbers, here’s what we’re looking at:
- Estimated Cost of Completion: $250K
- Funds Committed: $185K
- Amount Needed to put Project out to Bid: $65K (if we get the $25K from the Participatory Budget Process, this goes down to $40K)
Please Note: We will not have final costs until the project is put out to bid. The project can not be put out to bid until we have raised the estimated amount of the project. As such, costs are always subject to change. However, we wanted to ensure that we are being as transparent as possible, so that you, our neighbors, friends and supporters can see how much has been accomplished and how close we are to goal. Let’s get this park finished in 2020!!
2021 is still on, get your calendar!
Visit our online store and get yours today! Free delivery for 60618 and 60625.