By Kelsey Keener
ENOCH–Community members and their dogs gathered for the groundbreaking for the new Enoch Animal Shelter and Dog Park that took place Saturday at the new site for these facilities.
Enoch Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut welcomed guests and community members. Mayor Chesnut took the time to thank the people involved who helped make these projects realities and said his experience in Arizona taught him the value of dog parks and shelters.
“People who are dog owners that are responsible and take care of their animals, they really do appreciate these types of facilities,” he said. “Because it gives an opportunity for the animals to interact with other animals, socialize, run and play, opportunities that they don’t normally get in the backyard.”
Enoch Chief of Police Jackson Ames also addressed guests and discussed the new animal shelter. Chief Ames said the city has been looking into moving the current animal shelter for over a decade and this project gave him a better understanding of the importance of animal shelters.
“I’m really excited that this came to fruition,” he said. “I think this is going to be a great asset. I don’t think that I fully understood what … the shelter staff did to provide resources and facilitate the animals into homes where they’re being taken care of and people love them. There’s a lot of effort that goes into that.”
Animal Patrol Officer Chris Johnson identified some of the dogs present who came from the current Enoch Animal Shelter in order to show that stereotypes about shelter animals are not necessarily true. She also added that all Iron County animal shelters are now no-kill shelters.
President of Friends of Festival Country K9s Diane Gil spoke on the history of the dog park. The dog park started as a SUU EDGE Project in 2011, then FFCK9s was formed as a non-profit organization to raise funds for the project. Gil thanked city officials and community members who were instrumental in helping organize the dog park, as well as FFCK9s board members and their spouses. She also shared the concept design for the park.
Secretary of FFCK9s Chelsie Gallagher addressed the hopes and desires for the future of the dog park.
“We envision a beautiful and exciting park for man’s best friend and their humans to interact and play,” Gallagher said. “What you see now, the large fenced area filed with natural vegetation, will eventually evolved into a wonderful mix of grass, paved walkways, benches, and natural landscape. This will be a place that will soon allow even more people and dogs to socialize, to develop new relationships, new friendships.”
Following the groundbreaking ceremonies, community members aided in the removal of unwanted vegetation within the dog park. The fencing is now up and functional for the large and small dog sections at the Enoch Dog Park. From northbound on Minersville Highway, turn eastward at 5600 North, then north on the new dirt road.
While the dog park is functional, there is still much that CCFK9s would like to have happen, including installing water features, seating areas, ADA accessibility features and more. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating can contact CCFK9s at 435-867-7347.
CAPTION: Artist’s rendering of plans for the park.