Polo in running for $50K toward new dog park in national contest

Welcome to Polo sign.

POLO – Polo is one of 25 finalists in the 2023 PetSafe Unleashed contest, where it could win $50,000 toward a new dog park.

“PetSafe Unleashed is a national contest where one lucky community will win a dream park, a PetSafe Unleashed Dog Park,” according to PetSafeUnleashed.PetSafe.com. “[It’s] a place where pets and people can come together to spread the joy and share the love with wagging tails, smiling faces and new friends every day!”

Many Polo’s residents have been asking for a dog park for several years, City Clerk Sydney Bartelt said.

“We would like to provide our community with a dog park that they have been asking for,” Bartelt wrote in the city’s entry. “This will even be something that will draw more people to our small rural city.”

The proposed location for Polo’s dog park is 602 N. Adams Ave. Its two empty lots, which the city does not yet own and would have to buy if Polo wins the grand prize, Bartelt said.

PetSafe has worked for more than a decade to create dog-friendly spaces across the country through its Bark for Your Park program, according to the website. PetSafe has supported more than 80 dog parks in 40 states since 2011, contributing more than $1.65 million, the website states.

Polo officials’ original idea for a dog park was to have one near the water tower if the city bought the CedarStone Banquet Hall to serve as a new city hall, Bartelt said. That purchase never occurred, and so where to put a dog park returned to the drawing board.

Bartelt said she came across 602 N. Adams Ave. as a possible location while confirming an address on Beacon, which is a geographic information system used by Ogle County.

“I told [Mayor Doug Knapp], ‘When that dog park grant comes available, I’d like to apply,’” she said.

Anyone 18 or older can vote once per day at PetSafeUnleashed.PetSafe.com/locations/polo-il. Voting runs through Nov. 30.

The grand prize winner will be announced Dec. 5, according to the website.

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner is a dynamic writer with more than eight years of professional experience. She is reliable and hardworking, with an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for developing and reporting engaging content. She has won numerous awards for her work as a journalist, including a first place award for investigative reporting.