Good Shepherd Humane Society partners with Eureka Springs Parks for fundraiser

Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Scott Miskiel, interim director for Eureka Springs parks, demonstrates how bricks are used at the Bark Park. Good Shepherd Humane Society plans to donate memorial bricks to the dog park to be used in seating areas.
Samantha Jones / Carroll County News

Good Shepherd Humane Society is working with Eureka Springs parks on a fundraising project that benefits the people and animals of Carroll County.

Cole Wakefield, Good Shepherd’s animal services director, said the humane society is selling memorial bricks to be placed in the Bark Park, located inside Harmon Park on Spring Street. Good Shepherd is raising money by selling the bricks, Wakefield said, with plans to donate the bricks to the parks department. Wakefield said he recently met with interim parks director Scott Miskiel, where he learned that the parks department is working on improvements at the dog park.

“They are wanting to build little seating areas in the bark park and need to put bricks down,” Wakefield said. “Right now, it’s just gravel. We figured that there’s a way we can help them, so we’re going to sell the bricks and donate them to the park.”

Miskiel said he discussed several partnership opportunities with Wakefield, including an informal dog show where Good Shepherd can bring animals up for adoption. The brick fundraiser is the perfect partnership, Miskiel said, because it helps the parks department accomplish a goal that was already in the works. Miskiel said the brick donation should save the department hundreds of dollars.

“These lower areas of the park, they still get very wet when it rains and it takes days and days for them to dry out,” Miskiel said. “Even with the gravel we’ve put down, it’s not a good, dry, clean area. We love donations of materials, and we could use these bricks.”

He hasn’t settled on a design for the bricks yet, Miskiel said, but that plan should be set in stone once the bricks are ready to be placed. Wakefield explained that it would take a few months to gather all the bricks, saying Good Shepherd wants to donate enough to pad as many seating areas as possible.

“We thought about placing the bricks here at our facility, but the dog park is a much more accessible place for people to visit,” Wakefield said.

Miskiel said the parks department has made many improvements to the dog park over the past few months. The improvements began last fall, Miskiel said, when employees hauled out “truckloads and truckloads of debris” from the park. Employees cut down some dead trees, Miskiel said, and put in new paths with gravel.

“We’re not quite yet done with the project,” Miskiel said. “We’re trying to make it the best we can. We’re committed to giving it the attention it deserves.”

Miskiel addressed criticisms of the partnership, saying the parks department is not raising money for Good Shepherd.

“No, they’re not doing any fundraiser in the park. They’re doing their own fundraiser,” Miskiel said. “They are giving us the bricks for free. My job description specifically states that we’re supposed to look for partnerships … to accomplish everything we need to accomplish.”

Miskiel continued, “I’m delighted to accept the donation of bricks to accomplish something we need down there anyway.”

The fundraiser is so important to Good Shepherd, Wakefield said, because the humane society doesn’t receive any taxpayer funds.

“Donations are key to our operation. We have to fundraise to provide these services to the public,” Wakefield said. “The fact that we have an organization of our size doing what we’re doing in a county and community of our size is exceptional.”

Wakefield said Good Shepherd is thankful to all its supporters in the county.

“This community has always been supportive of us and, as a result, we’re able to have a pretty big impact and we hope to continue to do so and to continue to create a model for rural animal welfare around the country,” Wakefield said.

The bricks range in cost depending on size and customization, starting at $100. For more information on the fundraiser, visit www.4everbricks.com/donors/gshs.

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