The grassy field next to the head of the Cedar River Trail is quickly becoming Renton’s first off-leash dog park.
A waterline went in earlier this month at the site of the former NARCO brick plant, and a fence is going up around the 5-acre patch of city-owned ground this weekend.
The excavating and fencing was donated. A kiosk has also been donated for the park.
“This is all moving so fast for us,” says Lyla Smith, an active member of RUFF, a nonprofit whose full name is Renton’s Unleashed Furry Friends.
RUFF had raised the $20,000 required to build the park even before its sold-out fundraiser last weekend.
One hundred and fifty tickets were sold for that fundraising dinner, Barks & Beers! at the Dog & Pony Alehouse & Grill.
Through tickets and doggy merchandise sold, the dinner brought in a few thousand more dollars for RUFF, pushing the group’s total to around $25,0000, closer to the $50,000 it needs to raise this year and next year.
The City of Renton is also helping fund the city’s new dog park. Renton City Council included $50,000 for the dog park in this year’s budget.
The city created a Dog Park Task Force last spring after years of dog-park requests.
RUFF hopes to have the dog park — still open for naming rights — open by the end of June. A grand opening celebration is planned for September.
But the nonprofit still needs help, with both labor and fundraising.
“We’re not done raising money… there’s a lot ahead of us and we need the community’s help,” Smith says.