by Calvin Ishee & Hunter Dawkins
After almost seven years in the making, on May 1st, 2021, the dream of Pass Christian having it’s very own dog park has finally come true. According to long time resident and dog enthusiast Mary Bourdin, the birth of the idea for a dog park began with the Pass Christian Park Commission six to seven years ago.
In fact, the first targeted location was at Henderson Park, however the federal grant that was used to purchase the property didn’t allow fences to be built.
Being undeterred and passionate about making this project become a reality, Bourdin and fellow dog lovers Wendy Allard, Patty DeMetz, Dr. Jennifer Hendrickson and Gary Smith worked tirelessly to find a suitable location for the dog park. As the idea germinated and several locations we’re eliminated, divine intervention may have happened.
Out of the kindness of their hearts, the leaders and congregants of Trinity Episcopal Church agreed to provide the land via a long term lease for this project, for virtually nothing.
Having overcome the major hurdle of finding a space at an affordable price, the Trinity Dog Park Committee set about getting the proper approvals and finding the money to fund the dog park.
In addition to seeking grants, donations and hosting fund raisers, the Committee formed a synergistic partnership with the City of Pass Christian.
Pass Christian Mayor Leo “Chipper” McDermott noted at the grand opening ceremony, “Every time you get a new amenity, it helps the town. The people here wanted it, we told them what they had to do and they went and did their part. This has nothing to do with me, this is all about Mary Bourdin and the group that wanted a dog park.”
Key sponsors included the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Trinity Episcopal Church and the City of Pass Christian. Additionally, Individual donations were provided by many citizens and dog lovers from The Pass.
Bourdin added, “I think it’s a great community effort that’s finally come to fruition and I’m just proud to see everyone out here and this is the reason why we love Pass Christian so much. Everybody works hard to meet our goals.”
When asked for their comments regarding the dog park, many dogs simply barked and expressed their happiness for having a place of their own to play and socialize with other dogs.
Of course as with all facility projects, ongoing and routine support is needed to properly maintain and keep the park clean. The City of Pass Christian has graciously agreed to help with the routine upkeep of the park, however the Committee will be accepting donations for future growth and development.
Those interested in making a donation can mail donations to Trinity Dog Park, P.O. Box 705, Pass Christian, MS 39571.
In closing Bourdin commented, “I want people to be able to come out and socialize with their dogs and enjoy the park, get together and love our town more.”
With that you could hear the dogs in The Pass howl for joy.