New park in Radford to offer unique experience for dog owners

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Jonny Fath

jfath@radford.edu

Dr. Liz Alterari, assistant professor at Radford University, has big plans for the city and for dog lovers in the New River Valley. She and her organization, Pathways for Radford, are working hard to revamp the City of Radford to help make it safer for people and their furry friends.

With a multiple step program on the books, Radford may soon be opening its first premiere dog and people-oriented fitness park. With this new idea underway, RU and the City of Radford are about to become a little bit more pet-friendly.

“Under the trestle, there is a walkway that goes all the way to plum creek,” Alterari said. “That is the area that we would like to propose a dog and people fitness park. Currently, the cross country team is using it. We plan to build a path in that area we are planning to work on. It will be different than other dog parks because it will offer owners the opportunity to get into shape with their animals.”

Building a dog and people fitness park will be the latter of the revamping of Radford’s downtown.

“First, we will continue the river way; then once the city completes the overhaul of 2nd avenue, which is on the books to be started next year, we will move onto recreation,” Alterari said.

Not only will the park give students the opportunity to exercise with their animals, but it will keep them off of the many roads in and around the City of Radford that don’t have sidewalks. Due to the growing number of students on campus, it is difficult to find a safe place for the people of Radford to give their dogs a chance to stretch their legs safely.

“I think that it would be a good idea to have a dog park at Radford because many students have their own dogs,” said Brittany Johnson, a junior at RU. “It would be a good place to take them so they could be able to run around and be playful with other dogs rather than just walking them around in the streets of Radford.”

RU students are greatly anticipating the work the City of Radford and the advocacy groups are doing.

“I’m looking forward to the building of a dog park in Radford because it will give me a chance to stretch my whippet Joey’s legs some place new,” said Kristen Dyer, a senior at Virginia Tech. “I do enjoy the park in Blacksburg, but it is awfully small, and I don’t get to participate with my dog very much.”

The City of Radford’s long-awaited dog park project is planned to get underway in 2012 if the community continues to secure funding and all other building and revamping continues on schedule. With the implementation of this dog park, the City of Radford hopes to become a much safer environment for students and animals alike.