One of the most popular new public places in McPherson welcomes not only two-legged visitors, but four-legged ones as well. Bremyer Dog Park, located at 1000 S. Centennial, is open from dawn to dusk.
Traci Parrish, president of the McPherson Dog Park Group, said the number of people and dogs who use the area proves it was needed.
"We wanted to build this park because there's no other place in McPherson to have your dogs off leash," Parrish said. "Dogs aren't allowed in the cemetery any more, so a lot of times we'll come out in the evenings and there will be people walking the perimeter with their dogs for exercise."
The evening may be when the dog park sees most of its traffic, but it is a rare moment when no one is there to play fetch with their furry friend.
"I'll come out at lunch to check the bag status and there's people out using it," Parrish said.
Liz Trowbridge brings her two beagles to play in the dog park most mornings.
"I heard about it from my neighbor a couple of months ago and we've been out almost every single day since," Trowbridge said.
Since she lives in an apartment, Trowbridge said she appreciates having a fenced-in area for her dogs to run around.
"I'm glad that we have it," Trowbridge said. "It's a nice, quiet place."
Going to the park has allowed both Trowbridge and her dogs to make new friends.
"It's always fun to see new dogs out here because they're always so excited and ready to play," Trowbridge said. "We've met a lot of nice people. Everyone that comes out here, we just all get along and have a nice time."
Sherry Sneath of Marquette brings her two miniature poodles to the park to play when making a trip into McPherson for other errands.
"They just so enjoy being out here, because they can run as hard as they want to," Sneath said.
Sneath said she is grateful to have a shelter for shade and supplies provided for her dogs.
"They furnish the bags and balls and water, which is nice," Sneath said.
Some dog park users have donated water dishes, balls, dog pools and even a first aid kit for other park patrons to utilize.
"People are definitely taking pride in the dog park," Parrish said.
While the park is owned by the city, it was an anonymous donation of $25,000 in memory of John Bremyer that allowed for its construction. The McPherson Dog Park Group takes on the monthly water and electricity bills which total about $70 per month.
"We also pay for all trash bags," Parrish said. "Volunteers manage the trash at the park."
Other donations and the work of volunteers have added trees and benches to the space.
"Our goal is to add water drinking fountains," Parrish said. "We were hoping to get them in last spring, but we didn't have enough funding together, so our goal is to get them this next spring."
The fountains, which cost $4,000 each, will be handicap accessible and supply water for both dogs and humans in both the large and small dog areas.
"When dogs are exercising and running, they need it," Parrish said.
The McPherson Dog Park Group would also like to add a sand pit for dogs to dig in, a storage shed to hold extra supplies and add more parking.
"We're just trying to take it one step at a time," Parrish said. "It's taken a long time to get to this point."
Fundraising efforts will continue through events like the McPherson Main Street Chili Cook Off and Concerts for a Cause. Donations can also be made through the McPherson County Community Foundation or Dillon's Community Rewards program.
"It's all a huge community effort. We couldn't do it without everyone," Parrish said.
For more information about the McPherson Dog Park, visit https://www.facebook.com/MacDogPark or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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