By Mike Fletcher
---- — Eagle Scout candidate, Joshua Isaac, and Boy Scout Troop #523 rolled up their sleeves to make life a little better for the dogs and people Saturday at Mohr Dog Park on the city’s east side.
The group of more than 30 kids, teens and adults cut down small trees, bushes, shrubs, weeds and vines to give more run for the four-legged park goers.
Isaac took on the project not only to finish his Eagle Scout project and to help out the community.
“I wanted to find something to help the community,” the 17-year-old Eastern High School student said.
“It was kind of chilly, but it wans’t too bad,” said Ken Isaac, Joshua’s father who also helped out.
“The spirits were high. We pretty much got most of it finished,” he said of the work. “There’s a couple of other things they need to do.
“Actually, I did not know we had a dog park,” Ken said. “Marla Jones familiarized us and told us some of the work they needed done. It was an opportunity for Joshua to complete his Eagle project. It worked out pretty good.”
Joshua chose the dog park, which is one of two dog parks in Kokomo, after talking with Jones.
“A lady in church who runs the dog park said it would really benefit the dogs,” said Joshua. “She said some dogs would run under the fence and get lost so I thought it would be a good opportunity to clean out the brush, fill in holes so the dogs have a safer place to play.”
Jones, who is the coordinator for the Dog Park Volunteers, thought it would be a good partnership to help improve the dog parks.
“He recruited the scout troop from his church — Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — and also recruited students from his school,” said Jones.
“They did a phenomenal job,” she said of the clean-up effort. “It’s so amazing. The difference it made. It’s such an improvement. The vines encroached 6 to 10 feet into the park. And it’s not a big park to begin with so when lose that much, the park’s not as usable.”
Joshua also coordinated with the city, which provided a pile of gravel to fill in low spots under the fence, said Jones.
“We’re very blessed. John Martino, who used to work at the city was great to work with and now the new [Kokomo Parks & Recreation] superintendent, Randy Morris, is supporting us.”
The volunteers also fed Isaac’s group and thanked them for the help in keeping the dog parks clean and make people know they are there.
“That’s our biggest push is letting people know the facilities are available.”
The other dog park at Mehlig Park off West Carter Street on the city’s west side provides another area for dog owners and dog lovers alike.