Glenwood City, Wisconsin, now has its first-ever dog park – and it’s all thanks to a 10-year-old girl for lobbying local government.
Young girl proposes Glenwood City’s first dog park
According to WQOW, Riley Unruh is the little human behind the new dog park. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. While in third grade, she wrote an opinion paper that sparked the idea for the dog park.
“It started in third-grade opinion paper, and I saw my friends were doing one about why there should be a class pet, and I did one, since they were doing one about pets,” Riley told the news outlet. “I did one about why there should be a dog park.”
Riley showed the paper to her dad, Robert Unruh. He’s a councilperson on the city council. So, she asked him if she could present the dog park idea to his colleagues.
“I told her if she was going to do this, she had to put a plan together, with where it was going to go, what materials she was going to use, and how it was going to be funded,” Robert said. “She didn’t miss a beat, she got right to it, then within a month or so, we were at a meeting.”
In November 2022, the council approved the dog park plan. However, Riley’s work was not done. Next, she had to fundraise. She made flyers and visited local businesses to ask for donations. Also, she set up donation boxes locally. Finally, she advertised at a local basketball tournament. It took a year, and a lot of time and effort, but she eventually raised enough money.
Dog park opens to the public
Glenwood City’s first dog park opened on Sunday. Riley was part of the grand opening ceremony.
“Riley’s dream to build this dog park, and then seeing the ambition, and her drive to see it come to what it is today, is obviously that perfect dad moment,” Robert said.
“It just makes me feel proud of myself, and makes me feel like I actually belong,” Riley said.
You can visit Riley’s Dog Park at Hinman Park in Glenwood City.