Kona's Dock at Regional Park

A dog diving dock is near completion at the Gallatin County Regional Park’s off-leash dog park in Bozeman.

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A 40-foot-long dog diving dock is near completion at the Gallatin County Regional Park’s off-leash area in Bozeman, thanks to a donation made in honor of a recently deceased dog lover.

Terry Cunningham, director of the local nonprofit Run Dog Run, said the dock was built with amenities that add to the visual appeal of the park. It’s still fenced off but will open once a dog beach is installed on either side of the dock.

Cunningham said the donation and three others have funded major improvements. But Run Dog Run is still seeking a donor who can help fast-track additional park improvements in exchange for naming rights to the off-leash facility.

Doggie beach donation

A dog lover donated the money for Run Dog Run to build a dog beach on the southern-most pond in the 13-acre facility. Installing the beach will involve require considerable excavation and retaining walls. Knife River will donate a portion of the sand used for the beach. Construction will begin next week.

Pond and wetland enhancement donation

An anonymous $22,000 donation made through the Park County Community Foundation will fund a two-year management plan to enhance the long-term health of the three-pond, two-stream ecosystem that was created at the park. Wetland species will be introduced this fall and spring, as well as pond-side seeding, floating wetlands in each pond and the improvements along the streams and pond edges. Run Dog Run’s says it wants to create a wetland that will survive considerable dog use. Certain ponds will be closed as seedbeds are installed. Run Dog Run has hired Urbani Fisheries to oversee this project for the next two years.

“Bark for Your Park” Makeover Award

Run Dog Run recently secured a $10,000 park makeover grant from PetSafe and has requested that the grant be awarded in the form of heavy-duty, park-grade dog agility equipment. Adding a 10-station dog agility course to the off-leash facility will help turn the location into Montana’s best off-leash dog park, Cunningham said. He hopes the course will be installed next spring.

Parts of the park are closed now while workers make improvements, and more closures are coming.

“We regret the inconvenience, but we’re committed to the long-term health of the park, which requires that we allow grass, wetland and trees and shrubs to take root and become viable,” Cunningham said.

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Troy Carter covers politics and county government for the Chronicle.

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