NEWPORT — Newport inhabitants and its neighbors are inspired to “vote early and often” in a collective effort and hard work to fund a group pet park in the area.
This week, Newport was named 1 of 30 nationwide finalists in thought for a $25,000 grant to fund a group puppy park. Bark for your Doggy, a grant offered by national pet protection firm PetSafe, will award 5 grants to the communities that get the most on-line votes for the duration of the thirty day period of August.
Newport is the only finalist from New Hampshire and northern New England, which includes Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts.
But profitable a single of the grants will be a challenge.
Newport, with approximately 7,500 people, is the smallest community of the 30 finalists. In addition the levels of competition incorporates communities in key U.S. cities such as Detroit Milwaukee Memphis, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
But somewhat than be discouraged by the glaring inhabitants downside, Newport space inhabitants are inspired to look at this their proverbial Spanish Armada or John Henry second, as an opportunity to show the electricity of local community, coordinated strategy, and New England persistence.
“I would like to be capable to present the ability of our communities to the relaxation of the nation,” claimed Christine Benner, Newport financial growth coordinator. “Our tiny towns typically get missed for these varieties of amenities, so we can definitely exhibit the nation how strong and nicely-knit our communities are.”
Benner’s optimism in Newport’s odds are not unreasonable when thinking about the contest principles.
Initial, any one may well vote in this opposition. All one particular requires is an electronic mail tackle to take a look at www.barkforyourpark.com and cast a vote.
Secondly, people today may well cast a new vote everyday, from now until eventually August 31.
In fact, folks can vote a number of times for every working day, relying on how lots of e mail addresses just one retains.
These stipulations, when mixed, grant an edge to communities that can garner the most devoted and decided supporters.
“Everyone in our area has a stake in this, from Claremont to Lempster [and other neighboring communities,” Benner said. “It’s a dog park for everyone to enjoy.”
The strong connections between towns in the Sugar River Valley could be a sizable x-factor in this nationwide grant competition, Benner noted. Rural communities like those in Sullivan County have historically maintained strong connections to their neighboring towns, particularly in respect to enjoying each others’ recreational and cultural offerings.
Additionally, these smaller and closer-knit communities make it easier to spread communication using platforms like community cable television or community Facebook groups, which a majority of residents will use to access information, Benner added.
In contrast, Washington, D.C. lacks such community connectedness, as Benner and this reporter — both former D.C. residents — discussed.
For example, the dog park sought by the Washington, D.C. finalists will primarily serve a relatively small percentage of the city’s residents and visitors. The number of people might still be significantly large but perhaps not beyond the Newport area’s ability to compete with them.
But Newport will definitely need the voting support from neighboring communities to overcome the population advantages of the other finalists, according to Benner.
“We can’t do it alone,” Benner said. “This has to be treated like a regional goal, to create something that everyone needs.”
The Town of Newport is collaborating with David’s Dawgs, a local nonprofit group organized by Newport residents Tobin and Annette Menard to raise funds to build and maintain a dog park in Newport.
Benner said the proposed park would be “state of the art”, with sections designated for large dogs, small dogs and a training area. The park will also be handicapped-accessible in compliance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
To cast a vote for Newport visit barkforyourpark.com. People may vote daily through Tuesday, Aug. 31.
To learn more about Newport’s community effort to build a dog park, visit davidsdawgs.com.