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Dog Park Donation
April 25, 2016


C-T Photo / Brittany Tutt

Joyce Dowell (center) presents a donation of $3,340 to the director of the Chillicothe Parks Department, Josh Norris (right) for the Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park. The donation was made in memory of Joyce's husband, the late Richard L. Dowell. Joyce and Richard Dowell were maternal grandparents to the late Tina Mapel. Also pictured is Diana Mapel (mother of the late Tina Mapel and daughter of the Dowells) representing the dog park. According to Norris, the donation will be used for upkeep and maintenance of the park, including the purchase of dog bags, gravel, etc. Norris hopes to one day add water spigots to the current drinking fountains so the watering of grass, trees and plants can be made easy.

Playground Nearly Complete
April 6, 2016


C-T Photo / Brittany Tutt

The play area at the Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park is almost complete. The new equipment in the play area is located outside of the park's fenced in areas and is meant for children, not canine companions. The equipment built is a combination play structure with multiple play features, including a slide. The slide was installed a couple weeks ago. The last thing to be installed before it is complete is a new swing set. According to Chillicothe Parks Department Director Josh Norris, the swing set should be installed in the next couple of weeks. Funding for this play structure is being paid for through donations.

DOG PARK GETS NEW PLAYGROUND
By Brittany Tutt
February 29, 2016

CAPTION: The Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park located at the end of Clay Street on the west side of Chillicothe is currently getting new playground equipment for children.


C-T Photo / Brittany Tutt

There is new playground equipment currently being constructed at Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park. This new equipment is located outside of the park's fenced-in areas and is meant for children, not canine companions. Josh Norris, Chillicothe Park's Department director, said the equipment being built is a combination play structure with multiple play features, including a slide. The funding for this play structure is being paid for through donations. Construction began Wednesday; and Norris said the area still needs to be leveled and concrete footings need to be poured. After those footings have had 72 hours to sit, the rest of the structure can be constructed. Once it's fully installed, a surfacing material will be put beneath it to meet required standards, according to Norris. Norris hopes to have the play structure completely finished in two weeks. The Tina-Mapel Memorial Dog Park opened April 25 and is located on the west side of town at the end of Clay Street. The park is dedicated to Tina Mapel, daughter of Dave and Diana Mapel of Chillicothe, who passed away in January 2014. Tina had a strong love for dogs, especially her dog, Molly. The park sits on about an acre and includes two fenced-in areas. One fenced-in area is for small dogs (dogs under 30 pounds), and the other is for big dogs (dogs over 30 pounds). There is dog play equipment in each of the fenced-in sections, 10 memorial benches and water fountains that have one spout for people and one for dogs, as well. These water fountains were shut off for the cold winter months to ensure the water lines wouldn't burst; however, Norris said if the weather remains warm, the parks department will turn them back on at the end of March or beginning of April. Norris said he thinks the community has responded well to the dog park. He said that representatives from other communities have called and asked how Chillicothe was able to implement a dog park. "Every time I drive by I see someone using it," Norris said. "I've gotten a lot of compliments on it... I think it's been received well from everyone."

Many Gather in Rain for Dog Park Dedication
April 27, 2015 CT
By BRITTANY TUTT

C-T Photos / Brittany Tutt

The moment many dog-lovers in the Chillicothe area had been waiting for, for about a year, came Saturday afternoon. The dedication and grand opening of the Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park was held, and despite the rain, approximately 150 people showed up for the event. Tina Mapel, daughter of Dave and Diana Mapel, of Chillicothe, passed away in January 2014. Tina had a strong love for dogs, especially her dog, Molly, who was also in attendance at the dedication.

The dog park is located at the end of Clay Street on the west side of town and sits on about an acre of land. There are two fenced in areas at the park. One section is for small dogs (dogs under 30 pounds) and one section is for big dogs (dogs over 30 pounds). There is dog play equipment in each of the sections. The park includes 10 memorial benches and water fountains that have one spout for people and one for dogs, as well.

 

Mayor Chuck Haney welcomed everyone to the event. He said when he pulled up to the dog park and saw how many others were pulling in, despite the weather, he felt proud and had everyone at the event give themselves a round of applause. Haney thanked everyone on behalf of the city and the City Council and expressed appreciation to all who attended, the donors, and the Chillicothe Parks Department. He also thanked the Mapel family for their efforts. Director of Chillicothe Parks Department, Josh Norris, then spoke about the dog park. "The crowd that we have here today is just a testimony of what Tina meant to everybody. For everyone to come out during this not-so-ideal weather, it's just a testimony for what she meant to everyone here, so with that, I want to say thank you," Norris began. "This facility would not be possible without the donations and the kindness and generosity of so many individuals," Norris said. People that knew Tina (friends, family) and even those that did not know Tina all came together to make this park happen, according to Norris. Dave Mapel then took the microphone to say a few words. "When we decided to do this, Diana and I have been back and forth down to Tyler's (Tina's brother) and a couple other places, and we spent time everywhere we went looking at other dog parks, trying to get some ideas. And, I'll be honest with you, this is unbelievable compared to most of the ones we visited. A lot of them were just fenced in ground, and I wanted to give our community something a little more than that," Mapel said. He then thanked the countless number of donors who made the park possible. He then thanked Norris and his crew, as well as Matt Lent and his concrete crew, for their hard work. He also thanked the city and City Council for their support. Dave Mapel also thanked his graduating class for their support of the dog park. "We have an exceptional class of '74," Mapel said. Classmates of Mapel provided the park's trash cans, a few trees and a memorial bench. Lastly, Kyle Ross was thanked for making the Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park his Eagle Scout project. Ross is in Troop 120, and Mapel said he "went above and beyond the call of duty."

Mapel then revealed the memorial sign created in remembrance of Tina. The memorial sign stands taller than Mapel, who is at least six foot tall, and is black with gold butterfly accents. At the top of the sign there is a picture of Tina with her dog, Molly, and the sign has a short biography of Tina.

The sign reads, "Christina 'Tina' Michelle Mapel unexpectedly passed away on January 9, 2014 at the young age of 24. She was born in Chillicothe on April 26, 1989 and graduated from Chillicothe High School in 2007." It then goes on to explain that she adored children and dogs. She graduated from Maple Woods Community College and then attended Park University with the strong desire to become a kindergarten teacher. "But in 2009, she was diagnosed with an incurable illness called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome - which hindered both school and work," the sign read, "Through her constant battle with CVS, Tina eventually came to better understand it, and she returned to college with the new goal of becoming an American Sign Language interpreter. Tina also became a member of the Budweiser Girls, LLC, and was extremely proud of the work they did with their charities, especially when it concerned children." "Tina loved her family dearly. But her very best friend was her mini-Schnoodle, Molly," the sign reads."After bringing her home during her senior year at CHS, the two became inseparable. Tina would take Molly to visit children, friends in nursing homes, and to school. Molly even visited Tina during her numerous hospital stays. The two could often be found playing ball at many of the dog parks in the Kansas City area." "As she looks down with her bright smile and distinct laugh, Tina would want all dog-lovers visiting and living in the Chillicothe area, to enjoy this park," the last line of the sign read.

After the sign reveal, the ceremonial ribbon was cut, opening the park. Molly was the first dog in the park and got to fetch the first ball. After Dave Mapel threw the ball and Molly retrieved it, he invited everyone else and their dogs to come inside the park.

April 15, 2015 - Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park located at Mills Park (Corner of West Clay St and Boehner Place), Chillicothe, Missouri. 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2015. For more information, call 660-646-4424.


Photo / Josh Norris, Parks Director

Dog Park Taking Shape
April 7, 2015
By Brittany Tutt, CT

CAPTION: Dog play equipment was installed in the large dog fenced-in section of the Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park last week. Opening day of the dog park will be Saturday, April 25, at 1 p.m, - a day before what would have been Tina's 26th birthday.


Photo / Josh Norris

The Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park's opening day is nearing. According to Josh Norris, Director of the Chillicothe Parks Department, the park will be have its dedication on Saturday, April 25, at 1 p.m. At the dedication, Norris said there will be city officials in attendance as well as Tina Mapel's parents, Dave and Diana Mapel. The Mapels will most likely bring their dog Jack, and Tina's dog, Molly (whom Tina adored) with them to the opening as well. Norris said there will be a few words spoken about the park and Tina with a ribbon cutting to follow. After the ribbon is cut, the park will be opened up for the public to enjoy.

The Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park is located at Mills Park, which is at the corner of Boehner and Clay street, and sits on about an acre of land. This land is fenced in two separate sections. One section is fenced off for small dogs, and another section is fenced off for larger dogs. According to Dave Mapel, the small dogs can go in the big dog section, but the larger dogs aren't allowed in the small dog section, so the little dogs don't get picked on. The fencing was completed in November 2014. Norris said the winter slowed the park's progress down, but a lot has gotten done recently thanks to the nice weather.

Some classes at the Grand River Technical School have made the park play equipment for the dogs. This equipment includes an A-frame walk up, a teeter-totter, and various ramps. This equipment was installed in the large dog play area last week. More play equipment is still being built at GRTS. A tunnel walk and weave posts are still works in progress, along with the small dog play equipment. "Everything that's on the big dog side will also be on the small dog side but on a smaller scale," Norris said.

Signage has been ordered for the park, including a sign with the rules of the park. Norris said the signs should arrive very soon. Water fountains (including a spout for humans and a spout for dogs) and benches (there are 10 benches total) are ready to be installed, but won't be able to be put in the park until concrete work is completed. There will be a concrete sidewalk leading to the park, as well as bench and water fountain pads. Norris expects the concrete work to be done next week depending on the weather. The water line went in a few weeks ago according to Norris.

A memorial plaque in memory of Tina will also be put up soon. This plaque was donated by the Mapel family. "It will be all hands on deck the next couple of weeks," Norris said. "This is Chillicothe's first dog park, and it's my first dog park as well, so we will be adding and taking away things as we learn what works best," Norris said. Norris plans on making upgrades to the park this summer as time allows. One project Norris wants to tackle this summer is upgrading the playground equipment for kids outside the dog park area.

Norris said Dave is planning some fundraisers this summer for the park, including some slow pitch softball tournaments, to help with dog park upgrades and upkeep. The proceeds from the Doggy Dip held at Chilli Bay Water Park will also go to the park again this year.

Dog Park Progress
By BRITTANY TUTT, CT
December 15, 2014

CAPTION: David Eskew won the bid through Case Contracting to put up the fencing around the dog park this summer. That fencing was completed about a month ago, according to Josh Norris, Department of the Chillicothe Parks Department. Along with the fencing, trees are planted, benches are ordered and play equipment is being constructed.

(Submitted Photo)

The fencing around the Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park was installed about a month ago, including gates for entering and exiting, according to Josh Norris, Director of the Chillicothe Parks Department. There has also been two trees planted, memorial benches ordered and dog play equipment is currently being created. Dave and his wife, Diana, wanted to create a dog park in memory of their daughter because she was such an animal lover. Tina loved her dog, Molly (who is now under the care of Dave and Diana), and would take her to dog parks all the time in Olathe, Kansas where she lived before she fell ill. Even when she fell ill, Dave and Diana would sneak Molly into the hospital in a duffle bag to see Tina, according to Dave.

This dog park has been a work in progress for awhile now but "once the fence went up, I got really excited because it's actually starting to look like something," Dave said. The fence was installed by David Eskew. Also, an old friend and classmate of Dave's owns a tree farm with her finance, and they donated two trees to the dog park. They donated a maple and an oak, which are about 15 feet tall and are already planted, according to Dave. Dave also said 10 memorial benches have been ordered. Gray Manufacturing out of Saint Joseph, Missouri are making the benches. A class at the Grand River Technical School is currently designing dog play equipment. This equipment includes a see-saw, tunnel, balance platform and a "King of the Hill," which consists of planks forming the shape of an 'A,' according to Dave.

Josh is currently seeking bids for concrete work. Dave said they are wanting a sidewalk in front of the entrance and eventually want to explore the idea of a walking trail in the park. Josh and Dave also want to include water fountains in the park. Each fountain will include two spouts - one for the dog that will be on the ground and one for the owner. Dave also said he and Josh will be getting together soon to discuss signage design for the park.

The Tina Mapel Memorial dog park is located at MIlls Park, which is at the end of Clay street, and sits on a little less than an acre. According to Dave, the park will have a section for little dogs and a section for big dogs, so "the big ones don't pick on the little ones," Dave said. "The little dogs can go in the big dog section, but the big dogs can't go in the little dog section," Dave added. The section for the little dogs will be smaller and have about three pieces of play equipment. The section for the big dogs will be bigger so they have more room to run. The big dog section will include about 4 to 5 pieces of equipment, according to Dave. Dave is hoping for an early spring so they can open the park around Tina's birthday (April 26).

Dog Park Receives Grant
October 9, 2014

The Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park recently received a grant from the Jenkins Foundation of $10,000. To date, the dog park has a total of $25,000 in donations according to Josh Norris, director of Chillicothe Parks and Recreation. The fencing around the dog park is to be put up by the end of next week, and benches are currently being made for the dog park by an former classmate of Dave Mapel (Tina's father). Norris said that after the fencing is installed, the next steps are to put in the sign, trash receptacles and play equipment. However, Norris said they are continuing to reach out for grants and donated work.

City Dog Park Plan Advances
August 26, 2014

Council members on Monday, August 25, 2014, approved the purchase and installation of a fence - the first step to establishing a dog park. Three contractors submitted bids for the project, and city officials approved Case Contracting's bid in the amount of $16,891. The bid was for approximately 1,050 linear feet of black chain link fence for the proposed Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park located at Mills Park near Boehner and Clay Streets in the southwest area of Chillicothe. The fence is to be installed in October and will be paid for through the city's park fund. Equipping the park with items such as dog exercise equipment, benches, and signage will come from donated funds.

Dog Park Proposed in Memory of Young Woman
By Courtnie Cranmer
April 25, 2014


The Parks and Recreation Board on Monday voted unanimously to accept the proposal for the Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park at Mills Park in Chillicothe. The Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park plan was created in memory of Tina Mapel, who passed away at the young age of 24 in January of this year. The proposal, though accepted by the park board, must still be considered for approval by the Chillicothe City Council. The dog park, as proposed, would still be owned and maintained by the city, leaving in place the playground that is already there, and adding chain-link fencing around the entire area. The areas will be divided into three sections; large dog area, small dog area and the family playground area (which is already in place at Mills Park).

Pet owners would be required to stay with their dogs at all times and also clean up after them. Mapel's family hopes to open the park this summer, if approved by the council. Kyle Ross, Eagle Scout candidate of Boy Scout Troop 120 is making the dog park his Eagle Project. He anticipates working on fundraising, service, and labor, along with Tina's father, Dave Mapel. Tina was a dog-lover, with a particular fondness for Molly, her Mini-Schnoodle, which she got her senior year of high school. Tina and Molly visited dog parks daily. The Mapels have a special place in their hearts for their dogs. Molly now lives with Tina's parents, Dave and Diana Mapel, and in her honor, they decided to make the 'Tina Mapel Dog Park' project their passion. The dog park would not only be a place for dog lovers to bring their pets to socialize and exercise, but it would also be a place for citizens to purchase their own items in memory of a loved one, such as benches, trees and exercise equipment for the dogs. Memorial benches, trees and exercise equipment would be available for purchase through the Parks and Recreation Department pending approval of the dog park. More information can be obtained later, if approved by the council.

Tina would have celebrated her 25th birthday this Saturday, April 26, 2014. Donations may also be made to The Tina Mapel Memorial Dog Park at 860 Valle Vista Drive, Chillicothe, MO, 64601.

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