County’s first dog park being planned at Dorey Park
Canines of Henrico County soon will have a new place to roam.
Henrico County's first public dog park is scheduled to open in Varina's Dorey Park later this year.
The dog park will be located on about one acre of land near the pond at the park, on the opposite side of a gravel parking lot. Construction is expected to begin this month, with completion anticipated by late September, according to Al Azzarone, parks planning supervisor for the Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks.
"We've been receiving citizen requests [for a dog park] for a number of years," Azzarone said. After Varina District Supervisor Jim Donati received some of those requests himself, he asked county officials to look into the concept of putting a dog park at Dorey. They studied the site and determined the best location for such an area.
The spot they selected is mostly wooded currently but will be partially cleared in the coming weeks to allow for the construction of the dog park. Officials hope to keep several larger trees in place. A footbridge will be constructed over a ditch to connect the park to the parking lot.
“I’ve had a number of calls and requests from people for something like this, “ Donati said, “especially from those who live in dense neighborhoods or townhomes. They really don’t have anywhere for their dogs to run safely.”
The dog park will include two separate areas – one for large dogs and one for small dogs – and double-gated entrances to each side, to allow dogs to enter and be unleashed in a holding area prior to entering the park.
There also will be sufficient space around the perimeter of the park for visitors to walk their dogs as well, if they choose not to enter the fenced-in portion.
The facility will be enclosed by 6-foot tall black vinyl fencing, Azzarone said, and will include a number of features. Among them:
• water dispensers on each side for dogs;
• play equipment for dogs;
• bag dispensers and trash cans to collect and dispose of dog waste;
• seating areas for visitors.
Officials also are considering a way to construct a shallow water pit that dogs could wade in during warm months, Azzarone said.
The project will cost about $155,000 in total; it required that water lines be extended from the restrooms at the park across the main road to the new site, Azzarone said.
Because the addition of the park falls within the purview of the Dorey Park master plan, no official action by the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors is necessary to permit its construction.
However the Board of Supervisors will consider an ordinance amendment at its Aug. 9 meeting that would allow dogs to be off leash in the dog park – a necessary step before the park can open.
Requests for dog parks have come from other parts of the county as well, Azzarone said, and it is possible that additional parks could be considered elsewhere in the future.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.
The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.
The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.
Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.
The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.
A finalist in the Bravo television show Top Chef is bringing one of his four restaurant chains to Henrico County.
Bryan Voltaggio, who was the runner-up of the sixth season of Top Chef, (finishing second to his brother, Michael) and his business partner, Hilda Staples, will open their third Family Meal restaurant, at Henrico's Willow Lawn shopping center. The restaurant is expected to open early next year. > Read more.
The United States Army Field Band will present a free public performance at Deep Run Park in Henrico on Sunday, Aug 3 at 3 p.m.
Members of the band are soldiers who also serve as “musical ambassadors of the Army” and perform for schools and communities nationwide.
The Concert Band will be performing along with the Soldiers’ Chorus. > Read more.
Get up and dance – square dance, that is – with the Tuckahoe Square Dance Club tonight! More musical events this weekend include family-friendly karaoke at Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House, the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus Concert and the Henrico Teen Theatre Company’s production of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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