St. Johns United Church of Christ is announcing plans to construct a new dog park open to the community on its church grounds in Green Park, bordering Interstate 55 and South Lindbergh Boulevard.
The St. Johns UCC Community Dog Park is part of the church’s community outreach and mission to provide neighborhood support with a safe and open space for dogs and their favorite people, according to a church news release.
The St. Johns dog-park committee has already started fundraising and soliciting grants and sponsorships from area businesses. Local support has been favorable, with $3,500 already pledged from local residents, businesses and memorials, according to the release.
Members of the Green Park Board of Aldermen brought up the idea this summer that the city could construct a dog park, but City Administrator James Mello told aldermen at the June 18 meeting that any such project was not necessary since St. Johns is looking to build its own dog park.
“We should look forward to having a dog park in the city that the city’s not responsible for,” Mello said.
He said the dog park would be “fairly sizable,” surrounded by a 5-foot vinyl fence.
It has become a tradition at St. Johns to hold a Pet Blessing each year since 2015. The resounding support from the community has spoken volumes, the church said.
“The pet blessings have been beautiful events, honoring the special animals in our lives. The growth in annual attendance demonstrates the local support and the need in our area,” dog-park committee Chairperson Laurie Smith said in the release.
Actual physical work to construct the dog park will not begin until all outside funds have been raised for its total cost. The plans include construction of signage and fencing. Boy Scouts will construct picnic tables, benches and trash can receptacle covers. The committee is partnering with Boy Scout Troop No. 824 in the Mehlville School District to develop Eagle Scout projects.
“St. Johns has a long history of being welcoming to all, and this is one more way to be inclusive of our entire community,” Rev. Steve Westbrook said in the release. “The expansive church campus is perfectly located to invite all of our friends, whether four-legged or two-legged.”
The next Pet Blessing at St. Johns will be on Sunday, Oct. 7.
“One year we even had a rooster and a horse in attendance and they were blessed,” Smith said. “And so were we.”
The committee’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.