City of Richland receives dog park donation

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Good news for dogs and their owners in the Tri-Cities. The City of Richland is moving closer to a permanent off-leash dog park thanks to a significant donation coming to the city.

Matt Ulrich is the owner of "The Barking Lot" dog grooming business. He says $16,000 in community donations raised by the Tri-Cities Dog Park Society will go towards the beginning stages of building a 5-acre off leash dog area.

Ulrich says it is a project he and his late wife, Audrey Ulrich, started about four years ago. She was killed in a car accident in September, but not before the couple began a pilot program at Badger Mountain Community Park. That program brought in dozens of dogs and their owners each day.

With the first big funds coming his way now, Matt says it's a bitter sweet feeling. "There's definitely a feeling for a need of closure of some sort, and this is a project that was open ended that she was working on and it's really nice to be able to say it was done and it just didn't get abandoned."

The $16,000 will be enough to break ground on the site this Saturday. It will also go to building the first 2.5 acre fence and pulling up all of the heavy weeds in the area.

Overall, Matt says they need about $300,000 to complete the project.

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