BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON - Just three months after an anonymous donor offered up a $5,000 matching grant to help spur efforts to clean up City Cemetery, another $5,000 is being offered to the Canine Corral in Fort Madison.
This time the funds will be used to kick start fundraising for the cement walking paths at the dog park, located near the Tri-State Rodeo grounds at the top of 15th Street.
Donna Amandus, chairwoman of the five-member Canine Corral committee and 3rd Ward City Councilwoman, said the anonymous donor will be matching up to $5,000 in funds received from now until April 2, 2021 at 5 p.m.
The funds can be general donations to the cost of the concrete used for the paths, or people can earmark donations of $100 or more to brick memorial pavers that will be used as part of the path.
"Those start at $100, but they can go all the way up to $5,000 if people want a big slab," Amandus said. "Anyone who needs additional information on that can call me directly at 319-470-4881."
Amandus said she didn't know if the benefactor was the same person who donated to the cemetery or not, but said whoever it is is doing good things for the city.
The dog park is essentially one year in the making. Amandus said she got a reminder on her phone that it was one year ago today she, along with Ken and Sharman Steeples drove to Iowa City to get a look at their dog park for ideas.
"We wanted to go up there and take a look to make sure we did this right down here," she said.
In November, the committee, along with the help of about 30 volunteers planted 60 trees on the grounds. The path work is set to begin on June 25. All the labor for the new paths is being donated privately, but Amandus said the materials for the path will be about $10,000.
The paths will be 5-feet across and ADA compatible.
She said the final step in the preliminary plans for the park includes two shelter houses on each side of the park about half way up the path, to provide seating and shade.
Donations for the path can be sent to Amandus c/o Chair of Canine Corral at 412 24th Street, Fort Madison, IA 52627. Checks must be written out to FMEDC, the Fort Madison Economic Development Corp. Amandus said that group is the functioning non profit for the committee.
She asked that donors write "dog park" in the memo line of the check.
Also serving on the committee spearheading the efforts are the Steeples, Linda Smith, Patrice Jordan, and Anne Heitz.
Amandus said the dog park, according to city officials, is now the most used park in the city.
"We're just super excited about all the response and support we've received and all the people that have come out to the park," she said.
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