"So…what’s going on with the dog park?"
It’s a question we’ve been asked hundreds of times over the past four and a half years. Local volunteer government can move slowly, but we finally have an update and a clear path toward a groundbreaking this summer! We are at a critical state in the development of the dog park and we need your help.
Let’s rewind. We became involved with the effort to build a dog park in our town of Natick when our 18 month old son Edward passed away unexpectedly. Many asked what they could do to help, so we suggested that donations in Eddie’s memory could be sent to FIDO of Natick, Inc.
FIDO is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation spearheading the effort to build the dog park. Those days in November 2014 are a blur, but we immediately knew this was a perfect way to honor Eddie. It’s a place we would have visited often and we know he would have loved. Within days of his passing, we were overwhelmed with gratitude and support as our friends, family, acquaintances and complete strangers donated over $50,000 in Eddie’s name.
FIDO leveraged the donations into commitments from the Stanton Foundation for grants to design the park ($25,000) and to build the park ($225,000). The next step was a commitment from the town.
We were on the way toward building a dog park for Eddie at the Middlesex Path location near our house on the 15k mark of the Boston Marathon route. We worked with FIDO to navigate town government and respond to the questions of a handful of abutters. Over the years, every reasonable concern has been addressed and the plan has been reviewed or approved by the Board of Selectmen, the Conservation Commission, the Planning Board, Town Counsel, and the Safety Committee.
Just last week, two days after what would have been Eddie’s 6th birthday, the town opened bids to construct the dog park. Prices have gone up over time and the lowest bid is $300,000. Now, FIDO needs to raise at least $25,000 for the town to accept the bid and for construction to begin. They may require even more if contingency funds are needed.
The town is only required to keep the bid open for 30 days, and may commit to the contract as early as Tuesday, May 28. But, they will not sign the contract unless the town has all of the required funds in hand.
The Kramer Family has chosen to make a dog park in Natick part of Eddie’s legacy. A place where dogs can run free. A place where kids can be happy. A place where his sisters can visit and see that Eddie has not been forgotten.
We are committed to raising whatever amount is necessary in Eddie’s memory to build a dog park in Natick, and we need your help. If FIDO can raise enough funds by May 28, the park could open this year! If FIDO doesn’t raise the funds, we risk waiting until February for the town to open bidding once again as prices continue to rise.
This week, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to FIDO and ask your employer if they match contributions.
Thank you for your continued support for our family and for FIDO. We look forward to seeing you all at a ribbon cutting soon!