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MATTOON — Fundraising to develop an 8-acre dog park on the south side town will officially kick off on Giving Tuesday this week.

Dog park volunteer Katrina Butler said Giving Tuesday harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage giving and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

Butler said the Mattoon Community Dog Park Advisory Committee is joining this global movement of giving to raise funds for the planned site on city-owned land along South 12th Street, near Williams Elementary School. The fundraising foundation describes the location as being "behind the Arland D. Williams Grade School" on its website.

The park's stated mission is to provide a safe environment where owners may exercise and train their canines off leash, providing socialization for the dogs and positive interactions for their owners.

“We think this park will add to the quality of life of dog owners in Mattoon,” Butler said. “But beyond that, we think it will attract visitors and newcomers to our community when they see the amenities we offer to humans and furry friends alike."

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The site is set to include a 1-acre park for small dogs and 2.2 acres for large dogs. The plans also include paved parking, double gated entry, ADA accessible tables and paths, rinsing and waste stations, a pavilion, restrooms, water fountains, shade trees, and benches.

While the city will own and maintain the property, the dog park committee will play an active role in the design, fundraising and oversight. The Mattoon Community Dog Park Fund is a fund of the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation in Effingham.

To learn more or donate online, visit https://donate.enrichingourcommunity.org/Mattoon-Community-Dog-Park. Donations may also be made via 217-342-5983 or Mattoon Community Dog Park, PO Box 1211, Effingham, IL 62401.

For information on larger gifts and sponsorship opportunities, contact Butler at 217-246-2313 or kgrim56@gmail.com.

"A gift to the Mattoon Dog Park is a great way to leave your ‘paw print’ on our community’s landscape," Butler said.

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Contact Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRobStroud

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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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