Video link Springfield Bark For your Park

New voting link for Bark for Your Park!

This site is up now with links for voting.  Please remember to vote once on Facebook and once on each day through July 31.  We can still win this!

Bark for Your Park: We are behind and need your help to catch up!
We are in the finals! Springfield, Illinois was selected from over 1400 entries to be one of 15 communities competing for a dog park. Please help us by voting twice each day (once on Facebook and once on for Springfield, Illinois! Voting ends July 31.

The winner of the "Bark for Your Park" contest will win $100,000 to build a PetSafe dog park and four other cities will also receive a $25,000 prize.


Do you want to vote but are having trouble? Robert Rodgers is a computer genius and wants to help. Please contact him at Robert@JTeam.US. We really need to pick up the pace to stay competitive. Robert can place a vote in 30-45 seconds.


New Location: Barker Park

Barker Park is aptly named for Springfield’s next off-leash dog park. While many of us are disappointed that we did not have the support we needed for the Washington Park location, we are looking forward to working with the Franklin Park Neighborhood Association, the Springfield Park Board and the community to provide a safe and enjoyable place where people with common interests can gather and dogs can run freely off-leash. Barker Park is a 26 acre piece of property that was generously donated to the Springfield Park District by the Barker family. The Franklin Park Neighborhood Association is in full support of a potential dog park. The new proposed location will help to fulfill a significant component in the established master plan. It provides an open canvas for development of a quality dog park for our community.

Please continue to vote for Bark for Your Park Springfield.  The first phase of voting continues through June 7.  We still have a chance to make it into the finals. We appreciate and need your support! 

Dog Walk May 10, 2014
Click on the link below to view photos from our Dog Walk from Saturday May 10, 2014.

Click to view photos

Washington Park Dog Walk

Thanks to all who volunteered and came out May 10 to support the Washington Dog Park. We had well over 100 people, many with their dogs. This event brought in $3100 for our dog park. We are at about 80% of our $100,000 goal.

For final approval we will need continued public support, successful fundraising, and a great design worthy of Washington Park.

One way to help is by voting for Springfield, Illinois in the Bark for Your Park contest. The top prize is $100,000, with four $25,000 prizes. The first step is for us to get the word out and vote and on PetSafe's facebook page. You can vote once on each site each day until the contest ends June 7. 

We will plan to post photos from the event as soon as they are edited.  Thanks again for your support!

SJR Letter August Appleton

SJR Letter, Follow-Up

SJR Letter

WMAY Public Hearing
Public Hearing news from WMAY

SJR Article
This link is to an article describing the Public Hearing.

David R. Hoelzer
David Robert Hoelzer, 60, of Springfield, died on Sunday, December 29, 2013, while visiting family in Houston, Texas.

David graduated from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York in 1975 and from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 1979. He practiced as an endocrinologist for the Springfield Clinic for 28 years. David supported the Boy Scouts and was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. He also loved reading, gardening, farming, and walking his two golden retrievers in Washington Park.

David was preceded in death by his parents of Manhasset, New York, and his aunt, Ruth Faber of Wallingford, Connecticut.

He is survived by his wife, Karen L.; three children, John D. (wife, Jeanette) Hoelzer of Laredo, Texas, William R. (wife, Emily) Hoelzer of Portland, Oregon, and Kathryn A. (husband, Michael) McEvilly of Houston, Texas; and one grandchild, Oliver John Hoelzer, son of John and Jeanette. Cremation was performed by Klein Funeral Homes in Houston, Texas, prior to ceremonies in Springfield, Illinois.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Springfield Parks Foundation (memo field "Washington Dog Park") to help start the Washington Dog Park in Springfield, Illinois. See more at:

Illinois Times: A Poochy Plan
The Illinois Times has an article about our Washington Dog Park.  Thanks, Illinois Times for helping to bring awareness to our project and the Public Hearing!

SJ-R Editorial on the Washington Dog Park
Please check out the editorial from the State Journal Register from October 18. We appreciate the support!

Stuart Park Expansion
The Stuart Dog Park expansion has been completed allowing much more room for both our large and small canine companions. Thanks to all who made this project possible, especially Rosie Christie whose persistence and vision were critical, the Park Board Trustees, and staff of the Springfield Park District.  Funding was provided by the Shirley Hoelzer Memorial Fund.

Shirley was a lifelong dog-lover and would have been very happy to know that these funds were well used. What a wonderful example of a public-private partnership providing a much needed improvement in our park system. 

Susan Palmer McCann
Susan Palmer McCann will be remembered for her love of life, dedication to her family and friends, and her love of animals. She and her husband Mark enjoyed the company of four Springer spaniels (Booker the Wonder Dog, Maggie Mae Snicklefrits, Baxter A/K/A Johnny Bax and Rosa Mae Snicklefrits) and two cats Libby and Abby). She passed away after a courageous seven-year battle with cancer at the age of 49. Susan proudly served as honorary chairman of the Relay for Life in 2013. Her memory will live on in her friends and family. The Springfield Parks Foundation Washington Dog Park Project is appreciative of all the memorials received and will work hard to make the Washington Dog Park a place she would have been proud of.