The Tiffin Bark Park Project is to host the First Annual Dog Day Run/Walk this Saturday.
The event is to raise funds for a dog park, which could be opened as early as next spring, said Keith Hodkinson, chair of the Bark Park Citizens Committee.
The Bark Park is to be about three acres, and is to boast a dog bone-shaped pond, which is to be about 180 feet long and 40 feet wide, Hodkinson said.
He said Tiffin is to have the only dog park with a swimming pond for dogs in the area. The park is to include dog training equipment, a small dog park for dogs that weigh less than 25 pounds, a walking path and benches for dog owners.
The Browns Backers is helping to fund a "Dawg Pound" football field, which will be a flat area for owners to throw balls for their dogs, Hodkinson said.
"The thing about dog parks is it's not just for the dogs," he said. "It becomes a social setting. It's a great place to meet people. A lot of people will meet there at the same time every day."
He said the Bark Park also would be a way to generate more interest in Tiffin and Seneca County. He quoted the 1989 Kevin Costner film, "Field of Dreams," and said, "If we build it, they will come."
"I know when we complete this, when this is done, we will bring people into Seneca County that have been here before," Hodkinson said.
He also said the dog park is something that will bring local people to the park.
"It's one of those multi-generational things people do," Hodkinson said. "This will attract people that are teenagers, all the way up to people that are 80 and above."
The Bark Park is to be located at Hodges-Boyers Park where Dedrick Field is located. The softball field is to be moved closer to the other softball field, to make room for the dog park.
Hodkinson said the entire project is to cost about $120,000. He said the Bark Park Project has raised about 40 percent of the money needed to complete the project thanks to private donations and a fundraiser put on by Jamie Pursell, a veterinarian from Edenwood.
The Bark Park Project is raising money privately for fencing, equipment, trees, the pond and benches, he said.
The project also received money from the Clive Lupton Fund, which will mostly go toward moving the softball field and regrading and tiling the land where the dog park will be located, Hodkinson said.
The Dog Day Run/Walk, sponsored by McClung's Animal Hospital, is to begin at the old Rainbow Muffler lot, next to Ralph's Joy of Living. The 5K race is to begin at 9 a.m. and the one mile walk is to start at 9:15 a.m. Race day registration is to start at 8 a.m.
The registration fee is $25 if received before the day of the event, and will cost $30 for those who register on the race day.
Participants are encouraged to bring their dogs for the run or walk. Everyone who registers ahead of the race will receive a T-shirt and a doggie bag full of dog treats.
All runners and walkers are asked not to use retractable leashes due to safety concerns. A leash will be provided in the doggie bag.
Registration forms can be picked up at McClung's Animal Hospital, at Seneca County Radio in the mall, and at several other businesses. Runners and walkers can register online at Tiffinbarkpark.com.