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Fundraising efforts begin for Potsdam dog park

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POTSDAM — Fundraising efforts will begin soon to build a dog park near the Potsdam Humane Society shelter at 17 Madrid Ave.

“It’s going to take about $6,000 to $7,000 to get it on its feet,” said Deborah P. Massell, who is leading the efforts to see the park built and operating.

The money will cover fence posts, waste stations, refuse bags, signs, a parking area and a hose to provide fresh water for dogs.

Some donations have come in already, but fundraising efforts soon will begin in earnest.

Ms. Massell said a website for the dog park will launch within a month, accompanied by a campaign on Kickstarter.com, a popular national fundraising website.

It is important for the park to raise funds separate from the Humane Society, which is struggling financially, Ms. Massell said.

“We don’t want to siphon any funds from the Potsdam Humane Society, because they are just barely making it,” she said.

The Humane Society will oversee the dog park, which will be on Humane Society land.

However, the dog park will have its own business plan showing it can operate independently of Humane Society money.

An ongoing fund will be created to handle maintenance costs and unexpected expenses, and volunteers will keep the park clean.

“We already have a whole bunch of people I know will be on call for that,” Ms. Massell said.

Several groups have already volunteered to help build the park, including students from Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam.

However, Ms. Massell said she does not know when construction on the park will begin.

Some construction materials already have been donated by Potsdam residents Daryl Kolanko and Richard Randall.

Maine Land Surveying, Potsdam, surveyed the property pro bono, and Wagner Hodgson, a landscape architecture firm from Burlington, Vt., donated a design concept for the park inspired by the Adirondacks.

Until the website launches, funds are being collected by the Humane Society, both in person at 17 Madrid Ave., Potsdam, and on its website, www.potsdamhumanesociety.org.

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