Muskegon County’s first public dog park opens downtown
MUSKEGON, MI – Muskegon County’s first public and freely accessible dog park will be dedicated and opened
Saturday May 12 starting at 10 a.m.
The Downtown Muskegon PetSafe Bark Park is truly a collaboration of state and corporate resources tied to grassroots
community support. The dog park with separate large and small dog areas is located between the city of Muskegon’s
Nelson and Nims neighborhoods at 973 W. Western Ave. It is on the corner of Shoreline Drive across from
Heritage Landing and the new Rotary Park.
This first year, the new Bark Park will be opened dawn to dusk through the fall and accessible in the winter as
The 0.7-acre Bark Park is on land owned by Muskegon County and leased for $1 a year to Downtown Muskegon
Now, which raised $110,000 for the park. DMN’s Dog Park Advisory Committee had the park designed by Muskegon
architect Andrea Riegler and constructed by Muskegon’s Port City Construction. Both gave of their time and resources
to bring the project to fruition within a limited budget.
“Andrea Riegler along with Gary Post and Kevin Donavan of Port City Construction made the park their community
project,” said Cathy Brubaker-Clarke, head of the DMN Dog Park Advisory Committee. “Their collective efforts
will provide Muskegon-area dog owners a safe and convenient place to gather with their four-legged friends.”
The park includes doggie drinking stations, secured entry areas to unleash dogs, park benches, sanitation stations,
a picnic area and a limited eight-space parking lot. The DMN Dog Park Advisory Committee hopes to add lighting, a
picnic pavilion and snow removal for year round operations in the coming years but further financial support will be
The park was funded by a $50,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. for urban placemaking
projects. Online crowd funding provided an additional $60,000. DMN will open the dog park and be the initial operator.
PetSafe – the largest U.S. manufacturer of electronic pet training products based in Knoxville, Tenn. – provided
Muskegon with a national grant in 2016 through the city of Muskegon. Another significant contribution came from
the Greater Muskegon Kennel Club along with a contribution and in-kind services from P&G Holdings/Watermark
Center. More than 100 businesses and individuals contributed to the PetSafe Bark Park.
“The downtown Bark Park provides many of the new residents in various pet-friendly housing options opening in
Downtown Muskegon with a beautiful place to gather and enjoy their dogs,” said Dave Alexander, executive director
of Downtown Muskegon Now. “In addition, anyone from the Nelson or Nims neighborhoods are within a walk of the
Finally, the Downtown Muskegon PetSafe Bark Park will remember the 30 dogs lost in a recent local kennel fire
and their families with a special memorial. A first All Dogs Go To Heaven motorcycle run Saturday May 26 will raise
funds for the Bark Park and Pound Buddies.
For more information,
Contact Dave Alexander, Downtown Muskegon Now