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November 14, 2012

Dog park gets finishing fund-raising push

While work on the Gloucester Dog Park has ground along throughout the summer, organizers say they need one more fund-raising push to finish the job.

And that effort is now underway — along with a plan to name the park’s gateway in honor of longtime animal rights activist and City Council president Jackie Hardy.

City Councilor Bruce Tobey and the Gloucester Fishermen’s Athletic Association’s fund-raising chief Dick Wilson are leading that effort.

Tobey, meanwhile, also said he was looking for a way to recognize the work that Hardy did, both on getting Cape Ann Animal Aid’s new shelter built in West Gloucester and supporting the dog park.

Hardy, he said, cared a lot about those projects, and about the welfare of Cape Ann pets.

“She has this devotion that people don’t see,” Tobey said.

Tobey said he and Wilson are working to raise $25,000 for the shaded walkway that will serve as an entry point. Their effort, he said, will help finish the park as well. The committee, he said, supports naming the entryway after Hardy.

“It’s as much about Jackie as it is about the park,” Tobey said.

Hardy said the decision left her speechless.

“I’m overwhelmed, extremely grateful, and for one of the first times, speechless,” Hardy said.

Hardy served on the board of directors at Cape Ann Animal Aid and helped bring the new shelter in West Gloucester to fruition. She said the dog park was a natural fit to fight for. She said she likes to be a member of the community rather than leading the charge for a project like that.

Construction at the park kicked into high gear in early summer, said Nikki Bach, a general contractor who sits on the dog park committee. Bach owns Bach builders and worked with local contractors to see the project through.

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