PENDLETON — A group of Pendleton Heights High School seniors are channeling their inner Fido in pursuit of a project that will benefit local canines — and create yet another attraction at Falls Park.
The students are trying to raise $15,000 to install a fenced-in area in the park called Falls Bark Dog Park.
The goal is for there to be a place for visitors to take their pets to run and play leash-free.
Pendleton Parks and Recreation Board approved the community project last year with plans for the dog park to be installed this spring.
Senior Logan Marshall is one of the students spearheading the project. He and 24 other seniors are taking part in the fundraising.
The money will pay for fencing that will surround the dog park. The exact location and size of the dog park is to be determined, park leaders said. But, the project will happen.
A local business, B.L. Brown Construction and Excavation, has stepped up to help the student project, committing to adding water lines where needed so dogs will have access to drinking water.
The students also plan to build benches at the high school workshop to be used in the dog park area.
Marshall, an Eagle Scout, has experience doing community projects, he said. He created a fitness trail at Falls Park and was eager to be part of the Falls Bark Dog Park project.
“I really enjoying having a project and doing things for the community,” he said.
Seniors from the Pendleton Heights Class of 2017 came up with the idea for the project and obtained parks board approval. Students from this year’s senior class hope to complete the effort.
Marshall said many of this year’s group jumped at the chance to do something to benefit local dogs.
“I’m pretty sure everyone in our group has a dog, so we all see a need for the dog park,” Marshall said.
The project also meets a specific need for some students.
At Pendleton Heights, taking part in a senior community service project is a requirement to earn a summa cum laude diploma, Principal Mark Hall said.
The students conducted a dog photo contest to kick off fundraising a few weeks ago; students and staff members could submit a photo of their dog for $5, and the winning dog would be the project’s poster dog.
Sugar, a Labrador/Harrier mix belonging to Pendleton Heights sophomore Mia Meiers, was named top dog and will be used in any promotional material associated with the dog park project.
The seniors also sold candy-grams on Valentine’s Day and plan to run other fundraisers.
The goal is to raise the needed funds by the end of March and have the fence installed shortly after, by the end of May at the latest.
The students graduate in early June and want the project completed before they finish high school.
While raising funds for the dog park has been hard work, the seniors are enjoying the process, Marshall said.
‘We’re doing something for everyone,” he said.
The dog park joins the list of attractions at the park, which has nature trails, an Olympic-size swimming pool, meeting facilities and a history museum.
Anyone wishing to make a financial contribution to the new project can deliver a check to the high school, payable to Pendleton Heights High School, in care of the Falls Bark Dog Park.