By Sarah Richardson
The long-awaited Ronceverte Island Dog Park had a grand opening today, June 8, at 12 noon to an eager crowd of local canines and their owners. With large shade trees and plenty of room to run and romp, the park is a hit with dogs of all ages, shapes, and sizes. A separate, smaller fenced in area is set aside for the smaller furry friends so everyone can play safety.
“This is the first dog park in southern West Virginia, and a great day for Ronceverte,” said Chris Rodriguez-Stanley, the spearheader of the park. “We will be doing more work with the land, and the city will soon be installing drinking fountains, as well as fire hydrants for the dogs to pee on. We will also be putting up a privacy fence up between the dog park and the skate park.”
The park is located at the back part of Island Park, nestled in between the American Heritage Music Hall building and the skate park.
“This was Chris’s vision,” said Ronceverte Mayor Deena Pack. “Taking this from a dream to reality is impressive. It’s amazing to be a part of this together with everyone in Ronceverte and the surrounding areas who stepped up. While you’re down here with your dogs, make sure to hit up everything else Ronceverte has to offer!”
State Senator Stephen Baldwin attended the ceremony with his own dog, Tuck. “This is an exciting day. This is the first dog park in southern West Virginia and all of Greenbrier County. One thing we can all agree on is that West Virginians love their dogs. Here in Ronceverte we’re been trying to become a place that people don’t just pass through, but a place to stop and stay.”
The dog park was made a reality thanks to Chris and Jorge Rodriguez-Stanley, the City of Ronceverte, Friends of Ronceverte, the James F.B. Peyton Foundation and Angus Peyton, Greenbrier Valley Pride, Jim’s Drive In, Harmony Ridge, Paul Grist, Kilcollin Dental, Mountain Mama Consignment, Greenbrier Home Inspections, and numerous monetary donators and volunteers from the community.
Dogs visiting the park must wear a collar that displays their current rabies tag, and must be leashed when entering and exiting the park. Plastic bags and waste stations are provided to clean up after your dog.