About W.O.O.F.

 

Worthington Organized Off-leash Friends (WOOF) is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Worthington, Ohio. The organization began as an outgrowth of Sustainable Worthington when, in August 2008, a discussion during a Sustainable Worthington meeting led to a decision to explore the possibility of developing a dog park in Worthington.  In March 2009, WOOF was officially formed when 35 interested residents attended the first meeting.  In January 2010, based on a presentation from WOOF, Worthington City Council passed a resolution to create a dog park in or near Worthington.

Today, WOOF has over 450 members with a mission to provide fundraising and volunteer support for the new dog park at Godown Park.

The dog park at Godown Park is located at 6099 Godown Road, Worthington, OH and is a joint partnership between the City of Worthington and the City of Columbus, with support from WOOF.

Additionally, WOOF’s mission includes providing educational programs designed to promote responsible pet ownership. Examples of these programs are our Dog Park 101 classes and educational speakers at our quarterly meetings.

 

 

HISTORY AND TIMELINE FOR THE DOG PARK AT GODOWN ROAD

 

AUGUST 2008 - the idea of a dog park in Worthington was first broached in a meeting of Sustainable Worthington, an incubator for many positive projects in our city. The concept was met with an enthusiastic response by Sustainable Worthington members. 

 

SEPTEMBER 2008 - WOOF Began soliciting input and seeking direction toward forming a non-profit to support a dog park. Research begins.

 

DECEMBER 2009 - results of the Worthington Parks and Rec Vision 2020 survey show a dog park as the #1 request.

 

MARCH 2009 - The first WOOF meeting. 32 Worthington residents came together to support the establishment of a dog park in our community. 

 

Over the next few months, WOOF members formed committees, began best practices research, reviewed potential sites, conducted fundraising events, built awareness and meet with the Worthington Parks and Rec Director and city staff.

 

APRIL 2009 WOOF met with Worthington City Manager to discuss a dog park in Worthington. 

 

MAY 2009 - Following direction from the City Manager, WOOF made a presentation to the Worthington Parks and Rec Commission. The commission suggests WOOF consider stakeholder issues.  Approx. 30 WOOF members attend the presentation.  WOOF membership reaches 114 members.

 

OCTOBER 2009 - The first annual Fido Fest hosted by Leadership Worthington with the  understanding WOOF would assume hosting of the event for years to come. All proceeds benefit the dog park effort.

 

NOVEMBER 2009 - WOOF makes second presentation to Worthington Parks and Rec Commission to review stakeholder issues and refine site recommendations.

 

DECEMBER 2009 - WOOF became a federally registered 501c3 non-profit organization.

 

JANUARY 2010 - WOOF goes before Worthington City Council to request a dog park, through a presentation that included community benefits, fundraising efforts to date, membership growth and community interest, support from local businesses and WOOF’s commitment to support the dog park through volunteer and fundraising. Membership had grown to over 150 members. Approximately 80 members attend the presentation to City Council.

 

Worthington City Council, by unanimous vote, passes a resolution to support the establishment of a dog park in or near Worthington.

 

APRIL 2010 - Discussions begin to form a partnership with the City of Columbus for the establishment of the dog park to be located at Godown Park.

 

JUNE 2010 - Final agreement completed for the formation of the partnership between the City of Worthington and City of Columbus and approved by both City Councils.

 

JULY 2010 - work begins on the design for the dog park.

WOOF membership tops 200 and fundraising efforts are in full swing.

 

AUGUST 2010  - WOOF conducts a Survey Monkey among dog park users to determine amenities for the park, potential usage patterns and suggestions for educational programs.

 

SEPTEMBER 2010 - JUNE 2011 - Design plans are completed, construction bid awarded. Fundraising continues. WOOF membership tops 300.

 

JUNE 2011 - Groundbreaking Ceremony

 

JULY 2011 - WOOF begins soliciting bench, paver and tree sponsors for the park.

 

AUGUST 2011 - construction begins.

 

SEPTEMBER 2011 - WOOF begins offering Dog Park 101 classes at the Worthington Community Center.  Classes continue today.

 

JANUARY 2012 - Incorporation of an educational speaker program into WOOF meetings.

 

JULY 14, 2012 - Grand Opening of the new dog park at Godown Park. WOOF membership tops 450.

 

WOOF members continue to support the dog park at Godown Park through volunteer and fundraising efforts in addition to providing educational programs to encourage responsible pet ownership.