State of the Bark 2014

Each year at this time, we take a moment to look back over the year that has passed and review what we have accomplished. 2013 saw the return of three of our annual projects.

Early spring brought with it April Stools Day—our biannual clean up day. Late spring we were thrilled to repeat our Mitzhah Day with our friends from Temple Beth Zion and Westminster Presbyterian Church. It was our largest turnout ever, and with all hands on deck we were able to complete the re-staining of our information kiosks and tackle some other general maintenance issues. Thank you to all who participated!

With autumn, we were back at the Barkyard and busy with Back to Stool—the other half of our clean up program. I am pleased to report that at each clean up event there was less to take care of than ever before. Thank you to everyone who is duty-diligent in this regard.

The most noticeable physical change at the Barkyard is without a doubt our wonderful shelter mural. Our Board of Directors reached out to the folks at Community Canvases for their help in improving the appearance of our shelter. We now have a beautiful Franz Marc inspired mural. This work celebrates the dynamism of our four-legged friends—both large and small. The dogs pictured were inspired by actual Barkyard visitors, thus ensuring their joyful expressions! We would like to thank everyone at Community Canvases for a very successful collaboration.

The change at the Barkyard that we are most grateful for comes from all of you—our users. From the very beginning, we knew that the future success of the park would be dictated by its users. Over the course of the past few years, the regular visitors have taken ownership of the park. This shared sense of possession is what will ensure the continued accomplishments of the Barkyard. It is the only way any of our off-leash areas can function and we thank each and every park user that has embraced this commitment.

We have more plans for 2014 and welcome all of you to offer us feedback and share your ideas.

To continue to manage the park safely and make the necessary improvements we really do need your help. Our biggest challenge is to remind people that we are a not-for-profit group that runs solely on donations from pet-loving individuals like yourself. We cannot do it alone.

Thank you again for continuing to make Buffalo’s first off leash area a great success.

Joseph Lonzi

Buffalo Off Leash Area, Inc. – The Barkyard

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