Dream Dog Park Unveiled in Alabaster, Alabama

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This week I flew to Alabaster, Alabama, just outside of Birmingham, to the grand opening of the Dream Dog Park. The $500,000 park was created after local resident Jenny Wilson was named Grand Prize Winner of the 2011 Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest. Wilson is a former shelter manager for Shelby Humane Society and pet parent to Honey Belle, who was found as a stray at the park location.

Thursday’s ceremony both unveiled the park and kicked off the 2012 Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest. The event showcased the work of the “Dream Team,” Jason Cameron of DIY Network’s “Desperate Landscapes, Arden Moore, pet expert, author, and radio show host, and Eric Stonestreet, star of “Modern Family.” Each performed a specific role in the project. Cameron, pet parent to rescue dog C.J., looked at the project from a contractor’s point of view. Moore, pet mom to two rescue dogs, Chipper and Cleo as well as cats Zeki and Murphy, looked at the park with an eye toward keeping dogs safe and happy. And Stonestreet, whose 12-year-old rescue dog Coleman Hawkins often accompanies the Emmy award-winning actor, served as Beneful’s Ambassador of Play.

The park is packed with dog-friendly (and eco-friendly) elements including custom-designed splash pads, a football field for fidos, a senior dog hill for hanging out and watching pups play, a rubberized mulch path, agility hoops, and dog wash station, shaded rest area and more. I interviewed both Jason Cameron and Arden Moore for their dog park tips and I’ll be bringing you those in future posts but, first, I wanted to share some photos from this week’s event. We have an album on our Facebook page for larger versions of these photos or here’s a YouTube video compilation:

Kicking Off the 2012 Competition

To enter the contest, dog owners are asked to answer the question: “If you had $500,000 to create a Dream Dog Park where you and your best buddy can play together, what would you do?” The Grand Prize Winner’s dream idea helps serve as inspiration for a $500,000 renovation of a dog park in his or her area. And, the Grand Prize winner receives $10,000 cash and a one year supply of Beneful brand dog food.

To enter the contest, dog owners are asked to answer the question: “If you had $500,000 to create a Dream Dog Park where you and your best buddy can play together, what would you do?” The Grand Prize Winner’s dream idea helps serve as inspiration for a $500,000 renovation of a dog park in his or her area. And, the Grand Prize winner receives $10,000 cash and a one year supply of Beneful brand dog food.

Dog lovers are invited to submit their entries in this Round One contest entry period, which ends on August 22 when up to 20 finalists will be selected by an independent judging panel based on the following criteria:

  • creativity of the idea(s) to inspire more opportunities to play with your dog at your neighborhood dog park (60%)
  • feasibility of bringing the idea to life (20%)
  • effectively demonstrates how life is better together with your dog (20%)

Finalists will then be asked to submit a video (two minutes or less) that shows their daily adventure with their dog in the dog park and explains how their dream ideas make it even better. The Finalists’ videos will be posted for the public to vote on their favorite between October 10 and November 7. The Dream Team will also judge the Finalists’ videos to help select the Grand Prize winner. The Dream Team judging counts for 80 percent of the total final score, and the consumer voting 20 percent of the final score, to select the Grand Prize winner.

For more information on the Dream Dog Park Contest, official rules and to enter or view this year’s half-million dollar design, visit BenefulDreamDogPark.com. Follow Twitter conversations about the contest at #DreamDogPark.

Disclosure: I was flown to Alabama by Beneful to attend the grand opening ceremonies; I was not compensated and all opinions are strictly my own (and those of the hundreds of dogs I witnessed enjoying the park.)

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is an award-winning author of over 30 pet and travel books. Along with her husband, John Bigley, Paris is the founder and publisher of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • Sjgilbert

    What an amazing dream park for dogs. 

    • http://www.dogtipper.com/ Paris & John

      It was SO nice; I think the dogs of the Birmingham area are going to be very happy!!