After promoting the idea for almost a year, a couple of successful fundraisers, and the blessings of Norfolk City Council, volunteers came together to to solve an ongoing problem with the Ghent Dog Park.
The problem: Despite every effort, the center of the park could not keep grass on it. The board found ourselves having to close the park twice a year for nearly 2 months at a time in order to replant and fertilize. We also had to close the park every time it rained, and keep the park closed until the ground dried. This was because the wet ground made the turf way too fragile for running dogs. Even so, we had a constant battle with bald patches and holes. Patrons complained that the park was closed so often, and for long periods of time. Nearby residents were unhappy with the way the park looked, and the volunteers were tired of fighting what felt like a futile battle. You can see the cycles we went through over the years.
In November and December of 2016, volunteers built a raised “Fibar patch” in the center of the park. This was a HUGE undertaking. We brought in treated timbers, anchored them to the ground and to each other, and filled the border with over 100 square yards of Fibar, an engineered hardwood fiber product that is used in children’s playgrounds, horse arenas and dog parks across the country. Our task was complicated in that the two semi loads of Fibar could not be delivered inside the fence and instead were deposited on the street outside the park. We could not destroy the surrounding ground by running the rented bobcat back and forth from the street, so we came up with a wheelbarrow relay system. We are profoundly thankful to the volunteers who stepped up to some extremely intense physical labor, those who lent tools, and those who donated food and drinks for everyone. It truly was a community effort. The result is something that is enjoyed every day! The pictured team is one of several teams who worked on this project. Regrettably, we did not get photos of everyone.