A dog’s best friend: Boy Scout setting up local dog park

By 
M.P. Regan
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
CARON

CARON

An area Boy Scout aims to turn a healthy chunk of a local park into a place where area dogs and their owners can go to get healthier and happier.

“I really thought of a dog park as a necessity,” said Tyler Caron of his ongoing effort to establish an approximately half-acre, fenced area in Chris Kraft Park as a place where dog owners can exercise their canine pals, and themselves.

“It will let you take your dog out for a walk in a safe place, maybe socialize with other dog owners and dogs, and probably help your dog learn to cope with being around other dogs,” said Caron, who will gather volunteers for a project work day on Sept. 17.

Those answering the call can help set up picnic benches and fencing and other elements, including perhaps the most vital for a dog park.

“The city is going to give us a couple of fire hydrants to put out there,” said Caron of design elements that could prove the main attraction for canines visiting the dog park grounds located just past the hockey rink and bike park at Chris Kraft Park on Overland Road.

From an early age, Caron has understood dogs great urge to take walks.

“Whenever he gets a chance to,” said Caron of how often that Kroozer—the Australian blue heeler he received as a Christmas present when he was five years old—prefers to go on walks. “Yeah, all the time,” agreed Tyler’s mom, Tina, who’s seen her son rise through the scouting ranks since he joined the Cub Scouts to just short of gaining the highest status in scouting, Eagle Scout. “You have to go through all the scout ranks,” said Caron of one of the requirements to attain Eagle Scout status, “ “Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and then Eagle. And to get Eagle Scout you have to earn 21 merit badges,” added Caron, who’s earned around 70.

“And need to do a community-oriented project, something that encourages project management and gives back to the community,” explained the Beaverhead County High School senior.

Caron said he considered several projects before realizing it wasn’t just him—that a lot of people in the community would like to see a dog park established.

“I heard a lot of people talking about it and posting about it on various Facebook pages, and thought it seemed like a good idea,” recalled Caron of an initiative enthusiastically endorsed by Kroozer.

The 17-year-old approached the county commissioners with the idea and gained their blessing to use a piece of Chris Kraft Park for the dog park, and then garnered pledges of donated materials for the park from some local businesses.

Now, he needs to gather enough volunteer laborers to help make the park a reality.

“I’m not allowed to help with the labor; I just have to manage the proj- ct,” revealed Caron of one of the Eagle Scout project requirements.

“I have to gather the people to volunteer, direct them on what to do, design the whole dog park—layout and materials— and feed the volunteers on day of project,” said Caron, who’s seen some fellow members of his Boy Scout troop struggle with various aspects of their Eagle Scout projects.

“The biggest thing for them was trying to get all the paperwork in,” recalled Caron, who travels to Butte every Monday to attend meetings of the nearest Boy Scout troop.

“It’s not that easy to get help,” conceded Caron, who is working to overcome that challenge.

“It’s quite hard, but slowly and surely I am getting more people willing to help,” said Caron of gaining enough volunteers needed to do the lifting, digging, mixing, etc. to bring the dog park to life.

“I need to spend at least 40 hours of managing it and get a total of 50 hours of volunteers helping.”

“I think it’s great,” said Tyler’s mom Tina of the ambitious dog park project, which earlier this year gained the blessing of the Beaverhead County Commissioners.

“When he first went to the commissioners to ask about doing a project in the county, he wanted to do something smaller. But Commissioner Mike McGinley said, ‘No, this is an Eagle Scout project—you need to do something bigger.”

Anyone interested in helping with the dog park at Chris Kraft Park on Sept. 17 should call Tyler Caron at 941-303-7557 or email email greensniper927@gmail.com.

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