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Tennessee communities invited to compete for $25K grants to build local dog parks

Rhonda Bellamy and Koal meet Ripley, a 2-year-old rescue from Puerto Rico, last March in Erwin’s new Bark Park. Photos by Sue Guinn Legg of the JCP

By Tamas Mondovics

Randy and Jenny Boyd, with the Boyd Foundation, recently announced their effort to once again award 16 communities across Tennessee with $25,000 prizes in 2021 through their Dog Park Dash initiative. The foundation confirmed that applications are now open for communities of all sizes to apply and win grants to build new dog parks or enhance existing dog parks.

“Our Tennessee Dog Park Dash encourages people to come together to make their community a better place for both people and pets. Jenny and I are honored to be able to help,” said Randy Boyd, co-founder of The Boyd Foundation. “And we hope the Dog Park Dash takes us one step closer to making Tennessee the most pet-friendly state in the nation.”

The effort, of course means work on the part of its participants. The announcement emphasized that applicants are encouraged to work with community leaders to fill out the application online that opened, Monday, March 1. The deadline to apply is April 15.

“Qualified applicants will be notified and then encouraged to gather community support during a social engagement period from May 1 to May 31,” the release read. “Winners will be announced by June 15, 2021.”

In 2018, the Boyd Foundation announced a commitment of $3 million and launched the Dog Park Dash to build 100 dog parks across the state of Tennessee. To date, Dog Park Dash has already awarded 67 deserving communities with their local grants. A full list of previous winners can be found at

“Dog parks not only improve the health and quality of life for our pets, but for their owners too,” said Harrison Forbes, Grant Administrator for Dog Park Dash and pet expert. “We believe every community should have the opportunity to have a dog park, no matter their size.”

Most dog parks are divided into large and small dog areas.

About The Boyd Foundation
Established in 2018, The Boyd Foundation is led by Randy Boyd, his wife, Jenny, and their sons, Thomas and Harrison, and daughter-in-law, Lindsey. Randy Boyd is the President of the University of Tennessee, founder of Radio Systems Corporation, and former commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Jenny Boyd is passionate about promoting animal welfare, has worked alongside her husband to make Knoxville the most pet-friendly city, and is proud to play a significant role in expanding efforts to communities across Tennessee.