K9COLA News Archive


The name is "K9 Acres" Off-Leash Park. Yes, the new dog park will be named K9 Acres!

Regarding the park status, Julie Sina, City Director of Parks and Recreation writes: "The grading is complete at K9 Acres, but we have to wait to seed, as this spring and early summer we have not had rain (to speak of).  In talking to my turf specialists I am told that the best time to seed will be mid-August.  We will keep a watchful eye and will seed as soon as humanly possible."


K9COLA's 4th Annual "Wine for a Good Cause" was  a success! More than $1,100 worth of goods was donated to our silent auction. Attendance at the event increased 10% this year, and the sales donation from First Avenue Wine House was 50% greater. (Thanks for shopping even if you couldn't stay for the tasting!) With the sales donation, ticket sales, silent auction, and general donations received, this event generated $1,775 for K9COLA. Thank you to all of our supporters and sponsors for making this event possible. We would like to thank the following companies and individuals for donating to the silent auction:

  •     First Avenue Wine House
  •     Dog Gone It
  •     7 G Distributing
  •     Robert Murphy Art Gallery and Supplies
  •     Riverside Casino and Golf Resort
  •     Deanoz Sports Bar and Grill
  •     Tires Plus
  •     Granite City
  •     Green Endeavors
  •     Earl May Nursery and Garden Center
  •     Best Western Plus Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center
  •     Cooper's Mill
  •     Lone Star
  •     Olive Garden
  •     My Chiro
  •     Right Frame of Mind
  •     Jimmy John's
  •     Panchero's
  •     Camp Bow Wow
  •     Deb Graham from Walnut Creek Farm
  •     Marie and Travis Appel
  •     Steve and Nancy Sandstrom
  •     Margaret Plasencia


New Park Progress 

I drove by the new off-leash dog park across from Gardner Golf Course. They have installed all the fencing but haven't installed any gates yet. I'm really surprised they have been able to get this much done, as the whole area is a muddy mess right now. If you have a chance to drive by, do so and take a look. At this point you can see what the park will look like when it is finished. It is a little smaller than Cheyenne but still a nice park. It will probably be early/mid-summer before the park is usable. After they seed the park this spring, it will need to grow in for a while before we can be on the turf. If you have questions e-mail me at
steve@k9cola.org. Steve Sandstrom, K9COLA Site Coordinator

Cheyenne Park

Here is some information from the Cedar Rapids Parks Department about the trails and entry areas at Cheyenne.  With all the wet weather and the ground not freezing yet, some of you have had some concerns about the soft ground. This condition is normal and will get better with time. We have always had this problem at Cheyenne every spring when the ground thaws. As more grasses grow back in the next year, the muddy areas inside the park will get better too. Once the ground freezes, it will be good until spring. If it doesn't freeze for a while, expect it to be soft and muddy after any rain. Even the sunshine on the cold ground can make the top soft. On early mornings the ground is usually still firm, if you can make it out there at that time of day. Email me with any questions.


New Park Progress

Site Coordinator Steve Sandstrom writes, "I drove by the site for the new off-leash dog park this morning. It is taking shape. They have the parking lot area graveled in and the walking trail in what will be the main yard graveled in too. At this point you can get an idea of the shape of the park. I don't know how much work will get done this fall yet, but I hope that maybe they can get the fences in if the weather holds out. (The fencing has been started - editor.) Even if they get the fences in it will be quite awhile before the park is useable. It will all need to be seeded. I think we will have to stay off the turf until it has been mowed 2-3 times so the roots can grow in good. If we get on it too early it will die out and take that much longer for the park to open. Hope that the weather helps us out. It will be another nice place for the dogs when it's open.

"If you want to drive out and see the area remember it is not in Squaw Creek County Park. As you turn off Hwy. 100 on Banner Rd. keep going straight past the entrance to Squaw Creek Park. As the road curves to the left you will see the area they have been grading across from the entrance to Gardner Golf Course. You will see the graveled in walking trail. This is where the off-leash park is. If you drive past the entrance to the golf course you will come to where the parking lot will be. This spot gives you a good view of the new park area. They will be improving the road too. If you have any questions email me at steve@k9cola.org."

New Gate at Cheyenne

A new gate into the Main Yard at Cheyenne has been installed. This gate is even with the fences and gates for the other yards. Once you enter this gate you can let your dogs off-leash before you get to the second gate if you want. We will use this area between the two gates as a safe area to leash/unleash your dog.

Mount Vernon Dog Park

A new dog park is coming to the area! On November 21 the Mount Vernon City Council unanimously designated the "Upper Park Area" at Nature Park as a city dog park. The group driving this initiative has already held a dog swim and marched in the Mount Vernon Heritage Days parade and participated in Chalk the Walk. See their Facebook page .

08/07/11:  Good News!

The whole of Cheyenne Park is now completely accessible. You and your dog can roam the trails and play on the meadows. The small dog yard is ready, and the training yard can now be used for its intended purpose. There is a gate between the main yard and the entrance area, where water is available.

The finishing touches, however, have yet to be made. The trails are only partially graveled. There are some gaps between the new fence and ground. Some areas get muddy when it rains. Grass seeding will probably take place this fall and next spring. The trails will get better with time as they are filled in more. We will get more benches and garbage cans installed too.

PLEASE REMEMBER: you are required to pick up after your dogs. We have a full off-leash park again, so lets keep it nice! 

With regard to the new dog park at Squaw Creek, Gee Grading has been awarded the contract to construct the park. It is hoped the work will be finished by November.

07/07/11: "Sydney and I just got back from Cheyenne Off-Leash Park. They are really making progress out there. I think most all the sand has been removed. D & N Fence Co. has a crew out there installing all the fence posts for the new fencing. You can start to see the shape of what the park will look like when its finished. Hopefully we will continue to get dry weather so things can move forward fast.

"Warning: Right now the only area that is safe is the training yard. They have removed some of the temporary fence in the main yard area that we opened to fix the trails so this area is not completely fenced anymore. I put some cable ties around the gate into this area so hopefully people will know enough to stay out. If at any point the park needs to be closed to replace fencing I will let you know. If you go out to Cheyenne just be aware of what is going on as there could always be new holes in the fence as they fix things. Go out and take a look if you haven't been there for awhile. We are getting closer to have a full off-leash park back. Also, don't forget to purchase your 2011 permits so you will be ready to go when its finished." -- Syd and Steve, K9COLA Site Coordinators

07/06/11:  Jill Rowe has been elected as our new Volunteer Coordinator. Congratulations, Jill! She can be reached at volunteer@k9cola.org.

04/4/11: We received a message from Julie Sina, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Cedar Rapids, who wrote regarding Cheyenne Park: "Work is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 14th, weather permitting. Bob Hubbard of my staff will be on site that day to make sure Gee [Excavating] has any additional direction. Let's hope for some good weather!"

The park will stay open while the work is being done, though there may be a time when it will need to be closed to finish the work. Please stay away from any construction equipment that may be out there and be careful. When the work gets finished it will be awhile before we will be able to use any areas that have new grasses so they can grow in well before the dogs use them. Steve Sandstrom will post updates as soon as he gets them.


Remember you will need a permit to use the off-leash parks when the work at Cheyenne gets finished, so purchase them now from CR Animal Control and be ready to go!

03/30/11: We Passed the Boards! Thanks to your great turnout (we had more than 40 supporters at both meetings), the Linn County Conditional Use Commission and the Board of Adjustment approved construction of the new dog park. Give yourselves a pat on the back!

03/22/11: More than 40 of you attended the Conditional Use hearing on the Squaw Creek Dog Park on March 21, and we thank you! In a unanimous vote, the Commission recommended to the Board of Adjustment that the City receive the conditional use permit, without which the park cannot be built.

However, there was a big surprise for us. A nearby home owner hired a lawyer to contest the park proposal. He laid out a number of objections to the park, and he seemed to be swaying some of the Commission members. Although he did not prevail, we can be sure he will be at the next meeting to speak on behalf of his client.

We were told that if we hadn't had such a great turnout, the proposal probably wouldn't have passed the Commission.

The next meeting, before the Board of Adjustment, takes place on Wednesday March 30th at 6:30 at the same location, on the first floor of Linn County West (the old Steve & Barry's Building) at Westdale Mall in southwest Cedar Rapids.It is in the Board Room, Lower Level.

This is an important meeting! The Board of Adjustment will have the say on whether we get the conditional use permit or not.

If you want a park, if you've been looking for an easy way to  be involved, if you have any interest -- PLEASE try to attend this meeting!

There are two things we would like to ask of everyone who shows up to the meeting.

First, during the public comment period please don't make any statements, such as the homeowners don't know what they are talking about. We may all think their concerns are minor or dumb but it does us no good to say so. We need to respect their concerns about the dog park. We need to show everyone how we will work together to find solutions if we want this park. The city has already submitted plans for noise control and other concerns. We need to follow their lead.

Second, please don't bring up any ideas for changes to the current plan. If the current site plan doesn't get through we will not have a dog park there. There is NO MONEY to make changes. Someone mentioned we might consider moving the drive into the park to another area so cars wouldn't go past their house. It probably runs at least $1000 per foot to put in a drive and at 700-800 feet of drive, that's just not possible. Keep any ideas you have in case this permit isn't passed; then, if need be, we can work on other ideas.

Thanks Again and hope to see you next Wednesday night. Contact Steve Sandstrom if you have questions: steve@k9cola.org.

03/17/11: The City has notified us of a conditional use meeting regarding the new dog park at Squaw Creek. We MUST HAVE A SHOW OF PUBLIC SUPPORT AT THIS MEETING, which is at Westdale on Monday, March 21. PLEASE COME if you want a dog park! Here's the letter from Julie Sina with the City:

[We have received a] letter notifying us that the Conditional Use Permit application on the Squaw Creek Dog Park site will come before the Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. The Commission will forward its recommendations on to the Board of Adjustment public hearing on Wednesday, March 30th at 6:30 p.m. The March 21st meeting is being held at Linn County West, Board Room, Lower Level, 2500 Edgewood Rd NW [this is at Westdale].

The meeting on the 21st is important and I ask that you round up the troops and try to get 20 or 30 people to the meeting to show support of the conditional use. The best approach would be for one person from the group to speak on the issue explaining the support and the need for the new park. It is important that the person speaking asks for those in the audience that supports the dog park to stand up – this way the Commission can see there is widespread interest.
Please let me know if you can make this happen by Monday. K9COLA is a great group of people and we need the commission to recommend the conditional use because without it we cannot build the park. Steve Krug and I will both be at the meeting.

Thank you.

Julie Sina
Director, Parks and Recreation

01/03/11: Permits on sale for both new and refurbished parks! See Permits page for details.

11/04/10: There is small progress on the parks. A bid for the grading work/sand removal at Cheyenne has been awarded. The requests for bids for the work on the new dog park will be ready to send out soon. We hope they will get several bids returned closer to their budgeted amount. The Parks Dept hopes with good weather the work will be done by late spring. 2011 permits will be sold by Animal Control beginning in December, price $25 with one $5 discount per dog allowed for either spay/neuter, multiple dogs, or passing the K9COLA recall test.

09/05/10: The off-leash parks are finally on the city council's agendas. If you want to show support for the parks you can attend the council meetings on September 14th and 28th. These are the two dates that they have scheduled for public hearings on the parks. I have someone lined up to speak for us. We can be there just to show support. You can also email the city council and let them know how happy we are to have the parks finally moving forward. Let them know we appreciate all the hard work by the Parks Department and city. Here are the timelines the Parks Department has sent us. Thanks for your help.

Squaw Creek Dog Park – Staff and OPN finished the final plans and specifications and have submitted paperwork for Council approval to advertise for bids. The timeline is as follows:

  • Council agenda for August 24th meeting – Notice of Hearing and Letting
  • Council agenda for September 14th meeting – Public Hearing
  • Council agenda for September 28th meeting – Report on bids and resolution to award contract
    Award the contract
  • September 29th - Complete contracts and obtain authorized signatures and contractor mobilization to begin work as soon as possible after September 29th.

Cheyenne Dog Park

  • Council agenda for September 14th meeting – Notice of Hearing and Letting
  • Council agenda for September 28th meeting – Public Hearing
  • Council agenda for October 12th meeting – Report on bids and resolution to award contract
  • Award the contract October 13th
  • Complete contracts and obtain authorized signatures and contractor mobilization to begin work as soon as possible after October 13th.

05/28/10: The City of Cedar Rapids will be expanding the area available to dog owners and their canine friends, possibly as soon as this holiday weekend!

The city has let us know they are going to open a section of Cheyenne Park that has been closed since the 2008 Flood, greatly expanding the usable space for all dog park users! A section of the former main park will be open, possibly as soon as this weekend.

They are going to open a section of the existing training yard fence (the currently usable space), and connect it to temporary fencing that will expand the current area considerably until final repairs are done later this summer. 

The city has lined up staff to mow and erect the fence and are trying to do their best to have it open soon. The area will spread to the southwest and encompass the sitting shelter. This area did not get the heavy sand deposits, so a few mowings should render it back to decent turf for the users. 

A burn is not possible this late because the growth stage that the grass is currently in would damage the turf and leave black for quite some time.  The city will cut at about 6″ and then bring it down with successive cuts to be the same as the existing area.

Please take a few moments to call (319-286-5731) or email (recreation@cedar-rapids.org) the Parks Department and thank them for continuing to think about dog parks as they work to renovate and reestablish Cedar Rapids’ recreation areas since the flood. We are glad they know this area is important to us.

Visit us on Facebook (facebook.com/k9cola) or at our website (k9cola.org) for updates and information, and be sure to subscribe to our electronic newsletter!

Have a good holiday weekend, and we’ll see you at the park!

CRKA Check 12/02/09: At the volunteer appreciation dinner, the Cedar Rapids Kennel Association (CRKA) presented a check for $1,000 to K9COLA to be used in development of the new off-leash park at Squaw Creek! Please join us in thanking CRKA for their generosity!

New park plans available to review:
All Trails in Squaw Creek Map (park near Gardner Golf Course)
Off-Leash Park Site Plan
Off-Leash Park Site Plan Enlargement

Become a Fan of K9COLA @ Facebook and get updates FAST!

09/11/09: We had 1178 people come through our gate for K9Splash! 2009, and they brought with them over 600 dogs! This doesn't include the families that watched our event from the outside the fence. The event brought in almost $5500 for K9COLA and the City of Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department. Thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success by volunteering and participating! You can visit our now-archived swim page for a great testimonial from a participant. K9COLA photo archives are now available at our Flickr page -- there are loads of good photos from volunteers and participants to browse!

08/31/09: The 4th Annual K9Splash! dog swim at Bever Park Pool was a wonderful success! Stay tuned for final counts and stats, but in the meantime, please enjoy the fabulous photographs taken by our two professional photographers; these are definitely worth looking at, what great shots! All are available for purchase and we hope you will buy a bunch to support their efforts and time with us.

Jeff Banaszek's photos from Saturday 8/22/09:
www.Go-Photo.Net at SmugMug

Jeff Banaszek's photos from Sunday 8/23/09:
www.Go-Photo.Net at SmugMug

Carolin Fennern's photos from the weekend:
Primarily Design & Photography at SmugMug

07/20/09: We are lucky to have former Cheyenne off-leash park user Denise Clark volunteer to do the design of the new off-leash area in Squaw Creek Park. She has a first draft of the park layout done and will be meeting shortly with Steve Krug, a landscape architect with the city, and Steve Sandstrom, K9COLA Site Coordinator, to share the initial plan. When the design is finalized, the bidding process can start. Once that happens we will have a better timeline for when the new park may open. We have a long way to go but things are progressing. We are really looking forward to our dogs running in the new park. We all need to thank our Parks Department and all the people who are working hard to get the new park going. We think we will end up with a very nice off-leash park, and we will try to keep everyone updated as we progress.

04/09/09: Despite last year's tragedy with the flood, the Cheyenne Park Off-Leash Area placed among Dog Fancy Magazine' s Top 10 Best Dog Parks in America! Cheyenne Park won in the category of "Most Determined Volunteers!"

Congratulations to everyone who volunteered and helped us achieve this award. 2009 holds many opportunities for K9COLA and its volunteers. Please continue to be a part of our efforts. For information on how to stay involved email volunteer@k9cola.org or info@k9cola.org
Itis a great honor for us to receive this national attention and recognition; please forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested. And don't forget to pick up June's issue of Dog Fancy magazine to read the article and see the pictures!

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