Local dog-lovers to raise funds for Roxborough park on Saturday

 This lot on Mitchell Street in Roxborough has been vacant for nearly 30 years. (Kayla Cook and Sean Smith of Philadelphia Neighborhoods/for NewsWorks, file)

This lot on Mitchell Street in Roxborough has been vacant for nearly 30 years. (Kayla Cook and Sean Smith of Philadelphia Neighborhoods/for NewsWorks, file)

Sarah Koenig and her neighbors have a makeshift system in place for the upkeep of a long-vacant lot on Mitchell Street that functions as the Roxborough Dog Park. 

One person drops off gallons of water during the summer. Another stops by on Sunday nights to take the trash out. And someone else makes sure that there are bags around so dog owners can easily clean up after their pets. 

The group of Roxborough residents, dubbed the Roxborough Dog Park Association, of which Koenig is president, is looking to make their hold on the space official. 

For that to happen, they need a start-up pot of about $11,000. The association will be holding a fundraiser on Saturday to help them reach their goal at C.J. & Eck’s on Shurs Lane from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Guests will be asked to pay a $5 cover charge that will go towards discounted drinks at the bar. The group will also be raffling off prizes including a class pass to Bikram Yoga on Main Street, Philadelphia Zoo tickets and gift certificates from Stanley’s Hardware, Blush Salon and Yanako restaurant, among others. 

The group has already raised about $500 and is in the process of applying for nonprofit status, which will qualify them to apply for grants that can go towards the project. 

The money will go towards paying the nominal fee to rent the lot from the city, repairing the fences, putting in water and waste stations, installing double-gate entries, landscaping and liability insurance. 

An existing dog park at Manayunk’s Pretzel Park is “bursting at the seams,” according to Koenig, who added that on a given weekend afternoon there are about 10 to 15 dogs visiting the Roxborough lot with their owners. 

“We are looking for as much help as we can get from the neighborhood,” she said. 

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