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New Dog Park in Eureka officially opens

EUREKA, Ill. - In the Spring of 2016, students from Eureka Middle School were assigned a class project to brainstorm ways to improve their community.

Both Kelsey McClallen and Marissa Hermann wanted to install a dog park. 

After two years of hard work, planning, and fundraising, McClallen is more than excited to share the finished product.

"I'm really excited," McClallen says. "It's been a long journey, and we worked really hard on it and I'm really happy that it's finished."

After being granted a piece of land, McClallen began fundraising. Now that the final water features have been installed, the park is ready for its grand opening.

"I think it's amazing," says Eureka Mayor Scott Zimmer. "We have a lot of kids that come to [Eureka] City Hall and bring up different ideas. A lot of times it might be improving a trail or working on cleaning up an area, but this is a big project," she says. "For anyone that comes and visits, this is a very large part. It took a lot of work and fundraising and they endured for a long time to put this all together."

What started off as an early great place for families to go fishing, kayaking, now it's a place to let your pets roam free.

The pair never imagined a middle school project would turn into a community hangout spot.

"I definitely learned a lot," McClallen says. "I definitely learned about communicating with people, about fundraising and just doing something to give back."

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