Leash-free zone to be designated for Tupelo in Veterans Park

TUPELO – Proponents of a public dog park have selected a tentative location for their new venture – Veterans Memorial Park.
Plans call for an enclosed area bordering the lake on the northeast side of the sprawling park. There, canines could run free without a leash.
“We thought that would be absolutely perfect,” said Tupelo resident Moe Bristow, who heads the group’s location committee. “We actually met out there a couple Sundays ago to take a look at what we, the location committee, had decided to recommend. Everyone agreed.”
The volunteer group is working under the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, which has approved the location pending a formal vote from the committee, said employee Shanta Eiland.
The site had been picked several years ago as a possible dog park, and city Environmental Coordinator Sherrie Cochran already drew a plan for it. It called for benches, a picnic area, a beach near the lake and a platform where dogs could leap into the water.
But that effort failed to generate enough public interest to proceed.
Now, however, about two dozen residents have joined to make it a reality. They first gathered in early autumn at the request of resident Mark McDaniel, who recently moved to Tupelo from Charleston, S.C., where he and his dogs enjoyed dog parks.
“One of the benefits are exercise and socialization for the dogs,” McDaniel said at the group’s first meeting. “Another is exercise and socialization of the owners.”
Bristow said they’ll draw an updated plan and start a fundraising effort. It will cost an estimated $8,000 to build the park.
They hope to have the space open by summer.

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal