Wendy Bolton, president of the Bryan County Bark Park project, answers questions about the park, which is set to open next week:
Q: How long have you lived in Richmond Hill?
A: Thirty two wonderful years! I grew up on 37th Street in Savannah and moved to Richmond Hill in 1982.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: First and foremost, I’m a mother. My husband, Mark, and I have a soon-to-be 15-year-old son, Nicholas. I’m a strong believer in giving back, and I’ve volunteered for several nonprofits, most recently the Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation and the Bryan County Bark Park Association.
Q: How and when did you first get involved with the Bark Park?
A: A couple of years ago when visiting the little mountain town of Highlands, N.C., I happened upon their community dog park. We slipped the leash off Bailey, our 90-pound golden retriever, and spent the rest of the afternoon watching her run free and cavort with other dogs. In June 2012, Lesley Francis, Jane Honnor and I began to formulate a plan to develop a dog park here.
Q: What made you think the Bark Park would be a valuable resource to pet owners in the area?
A: There are so many dogs without homes, but quite often rescue organizations require that someone adopting a pet have a fenced-in yard. Not everyone can meet that criteria. Access to a dog park could make a huge difference. In addition, visiting a dog park is an enjoyable experience for people of all ages. Before the Bark Park, the closest dog park was 20+ miles away.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about helping to bring the Bark Park project to life?
A: I’ve enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people in our community who have embraced the Bark Park and have supported our efforts to raise money. We’ve also had so many people help build the park, individuals that have given their time and talents to make the Bark Park come to life.
Q: Do you have a dog or other pets?
A: I have a 10-year-old golden retriever named Bailey. The newest member of our family is a 7-month-old kitten named Cleopatra that Nicholas rescued last May.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
A: I’m definitely a summer person and love to spend time at the beach or on the water in our boat.
Q: What’s your favorite place to visit nearby? Why?
A: Nicholas sails competitively and for the past two summers has attended a six-week camp in Beaufort, S.C. Beaufort is a beautiful town and I’m only a few minutes away from the beach at Hunting Island.
Q: If money weren’t an option, how would you spend your time?
A: I would definitely travel. I love visiting new places and have been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing destinations. I’ve never been abroad and would dearly love to visit Italy, England and France.
Q: What talent would you most like to have?
A: I wish I could sing on-key. Mark and Nicholas cringe if they happen to catch me singing!