Milwaukee Downtown, BID 21
Press Release

Downtown Milwaukee dog park project selected as a finalist for a 2021 PetSafe® Bark for Your Park™ Grant

Voting Period Runs Through August 31 — Ten U.S. Communities Will Win Funds to Build or Improve a Local Dog Park

By - Aug 3rd, 2021 04:22 pm

MILWAUKEE (August 3, 2021) – PetSafe® brand, a global leader in pet product solutions, has announced the 30 finalists for its popular Bark for Your Park™ grant contest and Milwaukee is among the finalists. The project capturing national attention is the proposal to build Downtown Milwaukee’s first public dog exercise area in an underutilized area along the Milwaukee River and beneath the I-794 overpass. The project is being co-led by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 and Historic Third Ward BID #2. PetSafe® will award prizes totaling $150,000 to 10 deserving communities.

“We’re thrilled to see this very worthy project getting the attention it deserves,” said Matt Dorner, economic development director of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “The Downtown Dog Park addresses an area where Milwaukee is outperformed by many of its peers. This much-needed community amenity will enhance downtown’s quality of life, as well as beautify one of downtown’s busiest gateways. I encourage the community to log on and vote.”

Since introducing the program in 2011, PetSafe® has donated more than $1.5 million to support more than 70 off-leash dog parks in the United States. Now through August 31, 2021, anyone over the age of 18 that lives within the U.S. can vote once per day, every day for the downtown Milwaukee dog park at Employees and partner employees of the parent company of PetSafe®, Radio Systems Corporation®, are also not eligible to vote in the grant contest.

The proposed dog park site, between Plankinton Avenue and the Milwaukee River at Clybourn Street, will be transformed into a dynamic, 12,000-square-foot dog run with a publicly accessible Riverwalk extension. Proposed features of the park will include separated small and large dog areas, synthetic turf with irrigation to ensure cleanliness, decorative fencing, water stations, agility stations, public art, and opportunities for community programming and donor recognition. To complement this grant opportunity, the project’s partners will soon launch a website that will accept donations to assist in making this important project a reality.

Grant finalists were chosen from a panel of PetSafe® judges that scored each submission on the level of enthusiasm and support for a dog park project within the community and the impact that a dog park project will have on the community. Participants entered to win funds for either a new park or to improve an existing dog park. Following the contest voting period, five communities with the highest votes will receive $25,000 for the construction of a new park and five will be awarded $5,000 to enhance their local dog parks.

“The PetSafe® brand is proud to support communities in their efforts to provide a safe space for their dogs to play,” says Celeste Vlok, marketing manager for PetSafe® brand. “This finalist group has really shown their excitement and dedication to making their dog park dreams a reality, and we’re looking forward to seeing the community members take on the initiative from here. Join the fun and vote for your favorite finalist.”

For more information on the 2021 Bark for Your Park™ grant contest and to vote for Downtown Milwaukee’s dog park, visit

Additional updates and donation opportunities for Milwaukee’s first downtown dog park will soon be available at

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