Although its landscape is predominantly brown, a new dog park in New River (near Phoenix) wants to be the greenest in the nation.
Jackass Acres K-9 Korral believes it may be the first completely green dog park in the United States.
Located at 41635 Old Black Canyon Highway, off a frontage road that connects Anthem and New River, the park was built by Anthem Pets, a non-profit animal-welfare organization. It is designed to leave as small a footprint as possible on the environment.
"Our goal in building this park was to be environmentally friendly," said Michelle Roig, president-elect of Anthem Pets.
The park's 2 1/2 acres were cleared by hand, removing nothing but weeds. Everything in the park is run on solar energy, from an electronic gate opener and water fountains to a lighting system that will be installed next fall or winter. Wooden benches and ramadas are made from timber that was felled by nature, not man. "Because we (the board of Anthem Pets) are all environmentally friendly, we thought this was something unique to do," said Barbara Ward-Windgassen, president of Anthem Pets. "We just wanted to be friendly to the community, friendly to the environment."
On March 1, the public can get an up-close look at the eco dog park during a grand-opening ceremony from 1 to 4 p.m. Don't bring your dogs, though. For one day, it will be a human-only park.
The park has been open since November, but Anthem Pets wanted to wait until its work was nearly complete before hosting a grand opening. Any dog owner can use the park, but an annual membership is required to do so. There are 600 members from the north Valley. Households can join for an annual fee of $35 for one dog or $50 for two or more dogs. All dogs must be vaccinated to be able to use the park.
Anthem Pets hopes that its construction of a green dog park will serve as a model to not only to other parks, but to everyone.