KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Fifteen communities across Tennessee have won grants totaling $375,000 to build or enhance dog parks.
Throughout the past year, dozens of communities have worked to organize residents, coordinate with local officials, mobilize on social media, and host pet-friendly events to compete to win the $25,000 grant from Boyd Foundation.
For the past three years, the foundation and its founders, Randy and Jenny Boyd, have been working to make Tennessee the most pet-friendly state in the nation through their Dog Park Dash program. Launched in 2018, the program has given grants to more than 100 communities totaling $3 million.
As this is the final year of the program, the 100th and final Dog Park Dash winner, the city of Waverly, received a special $50,000 prize. In August 2021, a catastrophic flood hit Waverly, killing 20 people and damaging hundreds of homes, businesses, and public facilities.
“Jenny and I are honored to give the 100th and final Dog Park Dash grant to the wonderful and resilient people of Waverly,” said Randy Boyd, co-founder of The Boyd Foundation. “After so much suffering, their community deserves a beautiful new park for local dog-owners and residents to enjoy with their pets.”
“The city of Waverly is thrilled to be the 100th Dog Park Dash grant recipient and appreciates the Boyd Foundation so much for giving us this generous gift,” said Waverly Mayor Wallace B. Frazier. “We have the enormous task of rebuilding so much of our community. A new dog park for our citizens is a welcome addition that would not be possible without this grant.”
The 2022 Tennessee Dog Park Dash grants include:
- Lenoir City
- Franklin (Epworth)
- Lewis County/Hohenwald
- Jackson (Downtown)
- Overton Park/Memphis
“Our goal has always been to make Tennessee the most pet-friendly state in the nation, and after this year, our Tennessee Dog Park Dash will have added or enhanced 100 dog parks across the state putting us well on our way,” Boyd added. “We’re grateful that so many communities chose to participate, and we’re excited to see these fantastic new parks all across the state.”
In 2021, the City of Gatlinburg was one of 15 communities across the state to be awarded one of the Dog Park Dash Grants.