Butch Heavilin Memorial Dog Park to open May 14 at Atwood Lake Park

April 20, 2011

The grand opening of the Butch Heavilin Memorial Dog Park will be held May 14 (Saturday) at 2 p.m. at Atwood Lake Park.

The dog park, which is located next to the gate entrance to Atwood Lake Park, is named in honor of well-known former Atwood Lake area resident Butch Heavilin. A former employee of Atwood Lake Boats, Heavilin also was normally seen in the company of his two standard Poodles, Sadie and Taz. Heavilin died after a tractor accident in December 2007.

With the assistance of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Foundation (MWCF), Heavilin's family established a memorial fund to be dedicated to the development of a dog park. More than 100 individual donors contributed to the fund.

Set aside for dogs to exercise and play off leash in a controlled environment under the supervision of their owners, the Butch Heavilin Memorial Dog Park is completely free. Parking is located near the dog park and there is no admission fee necessary to enter the park in order to exercise dogs.

A brief dedication ceremony is planned May 14 prior to the official opening of the park.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Foundation (MWCF) is a publicly supported charitable organization dedicated to supporting the mission of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) by providing financial resources that enhance facilities, programs and conservation efforts on or adjacent to conservancy district lands and waters. More information about the foundation is available at www.muskingumfoundation.org.

The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Basin, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $8 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government. Much of the reservoir areas are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

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