GREEN RIVER — The Green River High School Chapter of National Honor Society (NHS) attended the Green River City Council meeting Monday night to announce that the dog park will be open to the public on June 19.
The NHS members in attendance included past graduates from 2018 through future graduates of 2024. This shows the amount of students who have worked on this dog park.
Six years ago, NHS Adviser Victoria Hemphill said she had the thought that Green River should have a dog park. She spoke to one of her NHS students who said that it should be NHS who builds one for the community.
“We found out that we needed a fence and water. Six years later, I’m here to tell you there’s much more than a fence and water. And finally, National Honor Society of Green River High School is ready to share that with you and the community,” Hemphill said.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the public and their dogs on Monday, June 19. Dog treats will be given to the dogs and NHS members will be in attendance to share information on the dog park with community members.
Hemphill said the process of this park started with a raffle, in which they were raising about $500 to $600 a year. One of the raffle tickets made it to central office and Dalene Smith, trustees the Thomas & Mary Kourbelas Charitable Trust, said that’s something they’d like to be involved in. They donated $20,000 to NHS for the dog park.
Hemphill said she also spoke to Inberg Miller to do the surveying for the park, and Mike Brown jumped on board. She said he donated time and energy throughout the six years of the project.
There was a point during the process where Hemphill said they were in near defeat, as they needed to have some ground work done but that could cost anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000. After speaking to several construction companies, Searle Brothers Construction eagerly agreed to help out.
“We are very thankful to the City of Green River, to the board, Parks and Rec, Brad Raney, Katie Duncombe, Brandy Stoeger, to the Green Belt Task Force and especially John Freeman,” Hemphill said.
She said that outside the dog park, it’s going to read:
This park is a representation of serving others to better one’s self. The members of the Green River High School Chapter of National Honor Society are proud to share this park with the community. Building this park began in 2018. Six years of membership and volunteer work are present in this park. This dog park is possible because of the leaders at Green River High School, taking initiative and working together, volunteering, and improving our already wonderful community. We welcome you all to the volunteer dog park.
The Council thanked NHS for their effort over the years, as they know it was no easy task to accomplish.
“Thank you so much for all your effort… you’re actually at the finish line and we get to celebrate, and congratulations,” Council Member Sherry Bushman said.
Mayor Pete Rust acknowledged that a dog park is good for both community members and tourists who are traveling through town and have dogs.
“In tourism, one of the things people talk about when they’re traveling is they won’t stop in a city unless they have a dog park if they have a dog, obviously,” Rust said. “This is a huge thing for the City of Green River in terms of economic development and increasing tourism, which we want to focus on.”