Lisa Sulka

At 8:30 in the morning, a few weeks ago, dozens of Bluffton residents and their dogs joined Town Council, members of the Friends of the Bluffton Dog Parks, and Bluffton Rotary members to celebrate the new dog park with its official ribbon cutting.

It was among the happiest of ribbon cuttings I have ever attended.

People were happy. Dogs were happy. The park was abuzz with dogs playing with each other.

If you haven’t seen or experienced the new park, please come. It is located within Oscar Frazier Park and it has a small dog area, a large dog and an older dog area.

It has been a long journey and I wanted to congratulate everyone who donated money, volunteered his or her time, and kept this idea alive until it found a home at Oscar Frazier Park.

One of the best aspects of this project is that a small group of people brought this idea to life. A group of dog owners was passionate about constructing a public dog park, and they negotiated several obstacles through the years and stayed the course until it became a reality.

It all started about 12 years ago when Charlotte Wamser put a flyer up at the Bluffton Library and started recruiting other dog owners who wanted a local dog park. I want to acknowledge Charlotte and thank her personally for being inspired to inspire others to build a dog park in our community.

A special shout out goes to current president of the Friends of Bluffton Dog Parks, Phillip Robinowich, and board member Pike Jones, who invested countless hours and sweat equity during the planning and construction of this park.

On behalf of Town Council, I am pleased the Town was able to donate this piece of land to help support this project. It makes me smile to drive by this park and see dog owners and dogs playing and having fun.

This is another great example of how a group of citizens and local government agencies came together to support a project for the overall good of the community.

The Friends of Bluffton Dog Parks raised nearly $60,000 to build this park, the Town donated the land, and Beaufort County agreed to provide basic maintenance services for the park through a formal agreement.

I am proud to be a part of a Town Council that plans its works and works its plan. This dog park project was a part of our Strategic Plan. It also complements our commitment to always looking for projects that enhance our residents’ quality of life.

Finally, thanks to all the dogs in our community. They bring happiness to their families as well as to the entire Bluffton family. I hope this park provides many memories for them and their families for years to come.

Lisa Sulka is the mayor of the Town of Bluffton.