By Melanie Rossi
GREEN BAY – A new dog park will be added to downtown Green Bay, with On Broadway, Inc. meeting their fundraising goal thanks to Vital Essentials and community donors.
The Vital Essentials Dog Park will be built at 325 North Broadway in a vacant lot currently owned by the Green Bay Redevelopment Authority, who are leasing it to On Broadway, Inc. for the park.
Brooke Hafs, marketing director of On Broadway, Inc., said that the park can help to achieve On Broadway’s goal of making the Broadway District a “dense, walkable, thriving, equitable downtown area where people want to live and work and play.”
“We recognize that there are a lot of people who live in our district and also work in our district who own dogs. Currently in the city of Green Bay there is only one dog park, and it’s across the river, and it’s not as convenient for our residents and employers as if we would have one right here in the Broadway District.
“Another part of what we are constantly trying to do is activate vacant lots in the district, and that lot is owned by the RDA but has sat vacant for a very long time, so the idea of creating a dog park in this space to activate that space until development should come forward just creates more of that dense, walkable environment that we’re hoping to achieve.”
The idea for the dog park began in the summer of 2022, with On Broadway collecting community donations and fundraising for the park throughout the remainder of the year.
Recently, thanks in large part to the park’s Naming Rights Sponsor Vital Essentials, On Broadway met their fundraising goal.
Hafs said, “They came forward as a Naming Rights Sponsor because of their love of dogs and everything that their company stands for. I believe they saw this as an opportunity to continue serving the clientele that they care so much about and the dogs in their community, and I think it’s going to be a really great partnership.”
Located in the downtown area, the park will serve as a safe space for both the dogs and their owners while incorporating a grassy play area with urban amenities.
“It is meant for people who live in an urban environment to get their dogs out, to get some fresh air, to exercise, so it’s going to be a fenced-in lot with a grassy base,” Hafs said. “But the fencing of course is designed to be very safe to keep dogs in that safe enclosed space next to a street where cars are driving, so there is going to be that double gated entry to make sure that the safety is maintained for the animals.
“We envision benches with shading; there are going to be some obstacle features, drinking stations, waste stations and everything that is needed to make a dog happy in a dog park. Then we were fortunate enough that the lot is adjacent to a building where we have an existing beautiful mural, so there is this public art element that is naturally next to it. It’s kind of going to be this really great setting of urban feel but nice natural elements for the dogs to enjoy as well.”
Construction will begin on the park at the end of September, with a grand opening soon after by the end of fall.
“This project would not be possible without our very generous donors, our Naming Rights Donor Vital Essentials; we are so very thankful to them for stepping up with a large contribution to make this happen to make this a beautiful space,” Hafs said. “But there was a lot of community support as well, a lot of individual donors who love their dogs. They came forward and supported the project as well, and this is going to be a space for everyone to enjoy, so the community showing that support just proves that this is something that the community really wanted, and we’re really excited to help supply it for them.”