A place for the dogs

Posted 9/24/19

Much to the delight of dogs (and their owners), Wiggly Field opened to the public over the weekend. As Powell’s first off-leash dog park, the cleverly named addition to Homesteader Park is a …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

A place for the dogs


Much to the delight of dogs (and their owners), Wiggly Field opened to the public over the weekend. As Powell’s first off-leash dog park, the cleverly named addition to Homesteader Park is a welcome one.

It’s also a great example of what the community can accomplish when people work together.

After dog parks opened in other communities in recent years, people in Powell talked about the need for one here. The concept gained momentum when local residents Tina Fagan and Judy Londo brought the project to the Powell City Council.

Though a preliminary proposal at a different location ran into opposition from neighbors, advocates for the dog park looked for a new spot and continued working to make it a reality. A local action group raised funds and secured donations, with businesses and residents contributing to the cause. As the project’s grant writer, Michelle Gutierrez helped obtain grants for the park, while the Powell Economic Partnership Foundation is managing the funds. The City of Powell Parks Department is maintaining Wiggly Field, which is located on Homesteader Park’s north side.

Over the years, Homesteader has grown to include a variety of amenities for the whole family — walking paths, an aquatic center, a skate park, baseball and softball fields, a summertime fishing pond, a wintertime ice skating rink, fitness stations, an RC track and now a dog park.

Establishing a dedicated space for dogs in Powell took hard work, partnerships and patience — but we believe residents and their canine companions will agree it was worth the wait. Wiggly Field provides a safe place for pups to roam free, socialize and burn off some energy.

In the past, people sometimes took their dogs to run around playgrounds at local schools. But after some dog owners consistently failed to pick up after their pets or keep them leashed, Park County School District No. 1 officials decided to ban dogs on its grounds for the health and safety of students. It was the right decision in the best interest of students, but limited in-town options for dog owners.

While Wiggly Field welcomes all pooches, it remains important for owners to always pick up after their dogs. This rule applies to every park in Powell, and we encourage people to do their part to keep all of our public spaces clean and welcoming for everyone.

While it might sound silly to carve out a section of our parks just for dogs, you don’t have to look far to see the positive impact they can have on not only our lives but our community.

Consider Zeke, a K-9 who faithfully served our community with the Powell Police Department for five years.

The German shepherd helped detect drugs in Powell and surrounding communities, most notably helping authorities seize more than $260,000 and a plane from suspected drug smugglers in Cody.

Unfortunately, cancer forced the 8-year-old K-9 into retirement earlier this year and he had to be put down this summer.

Powell Police Officer Reece McLain described Zeke as a great dog who became part of his family. It’s always difficult to lose a canine companion, but we’re thankful that McLain will be getting a new K-9, aided by funds Zeke helped seize and from the Bryan Gross Memorial Fund.

Whether it’s a working dog or a beloved pet, animals hold a special place in many of our homes, and like Zeke, they’re part of the family. We’re glad dogs now also have a place in our community to call their own.