Four members of Girl Scout Troop 481 from Morris have been busy making new play equipment for a park in Morris. However the equipment is not for people but instead, for dogs. The two new pieces are located in the Morris Dog Park near Pomme de Terre Park outside of Morris.
Troop 481 includes eight members with four of them eligible to get the Bronze Award. They include Marissa DeVries, Taiah Minnick, MaKena Haack and Elizebeth Day. The leaders are Amy DeVries and Ronda Minnick.
The girls selected the project to earn the Bronze Award in the scouting program. The Bronze Award is the highest award the junior or 4th and 5th grade girls can earn. They brought their ideas for the dog park to Marie Hansen and then the park board. When talking to Marie about adding items to the dog park, she mentioned that others had said it gets too dark to use the park after work in the fall, so the girls thought it would be great to get a light installed so the park could be used longer each year. They then took that need and their desire to do something for the dogs to the park board.
After doing some research, the girls select a 3 tire jump and a trapezoid dog walk. Each girl had to put in 20 hours of work on the project and they far out did that time line. They also had help from Chad DeVries and Tom Morisette to build the course items. Parents and grandparents of each of the girls helped along the way with the build, transportation and support. Marie Hansen was a mentor who helped arrange meetings with the Park Board to share their plans and get the go-ahead.
The dog park was built and dedicated in 2019 by the Morris Women of Today. It is a fenced area across the road from Pomme de Terre Park. It is a place where dog owners can bring their pet to run, jump and play. There were several pieces of equipment original to the park but the scouts felt there needed to be a few more. For the new lights, they talked to the City of Morris and were assured that lights would be placed in the park.
The girls began work last September. They obtained donations of money and materials from the Morris Area Women of Today, Superior Industries and Morris American Legion. Morris Lumber provided a discount on materials. Chad and Tom also donated materials and the City of Morris paid for the lights. The tires for the 3 tire jumps were donated. Some of the money came from cookie sales.
The next step in the process is to have the project approved by the Girl Scout council. Once the project is approved, a sign will be placed in the dog park noting that it is a Bronze Award Project. These girls will be given their badges at the unveiling of the sign. Another major step for these juniors scout is looking forward to is their bridging ceremony that will take place in October. This will move them on to the next level of Girl Scouts.
Troop 481 wants to invite the community to get out there and enjoy the dog park with their pets. However, please remember that the equipment is for dogs only and not for people and that many hours of work has gone into making it a fun place for the animals.