By Janelle Fisher
City Pages Editor
People and pooches alike gathered at 325 N Broadway in Green Bay Wednesday, Oct. 25, to celebrate the grand opening of the new Vital Essentials Dog Park.
The dog park, which includes safe fencing around the perimeter, wind screens, a double-gated entry, seating and a waste station, is being leased to On Broadway, Inc. by the City of Green Bay Redevelopment Authority.
“The [On Broadway] team really works hard to make the Broadway District a special place,” Brian Johnson, executive director of On Broadway, Inc. said. “As we contemplated what makes really great, successful downtowns, one of the things that we know does not make a successful downtown is vacant lots… We said, ‘how do we activate this space and make it more welcoming to everybody downtown?’ We did a pop-up park here in 2019 and that was incredibly well-utilized… It was only meant to be a one-year pop-up. Then one year turned into an experiment to see, ‘can we turn this into an active space?’”
Funding for the park was provided by several donors who are recognized on signage around the park, including Vital Essentials, a Green Bay-based dog food manufacturer.
With apartments popping up around the Broadway District bringing in more people and their pets, Johnson said he hopes the park will be well-utilized — and also noted that the park provides a good spot for people to take their furry friends to get some exercise in during public events in the Broadway District which they aren’t allowed at, like the farmers’ market.
Although the property is only leased and may not be a permanent home for the dog park, Johnson said that was kept in mind during construction to ensure that if the park has to move, it can.
“This is going to be a great temporary use of this lot,” Johnson said. “Our hope is that, long term, we can see development here and we’ve designed [the park] in such a way that the fences can actually be relocated and moved to another site if that needs to happen. But in the meantime, this is a great use and we’re so thankful for our partners that really stepped up to help make it happen.”
In spring, there are plans to add additional elements to the dog park, including agility equipment and shade structures.
Learn more about the Vital Essentials Dog Park at downtowngreenbay.com.