For the fourth year running, the Balls Around the Block (BATB) pub crawl will be funding the Fido Field dog park in downtown Cincinnati.
The pub crawl takes place on Friday and already has 215 registered participants. They will be divided in teams and hit 11 bars and restaurants for drinks and appetizers.
“There’s no other area in the city that’s so densely populated with such diverse establishments,” said event founder Craig Beachler.
Beachler began the pub crawl in an effort to visit local establishments that he and other friends had never been to, despite living in the area for some time. As popularity for the event grew, he realized that the publicity could be used for a good cause.
In 2010, the pub crawl began to be used to fund a dog park. Fido Field opened in 2011. The one-acre park has been solely donation-funded: Procter & Gamble’s Pet Care Division donated $50,000, and $71,000 has been raised by BATB in the last three years.
Beachler has overseen the construction of the park. A four-inch layer of gravel was chosen to line the park because it is low-maintenance and drains easily. But gravel can hurt dogs’ sensitive pads, so this year the group aims to add a two-inch layer of recycled tires, which will cost around $25,000. Gates and fountains are also being planned for the future.
Beachler says that a well-maintained dog park is key for encouraging dog lovers to stay and move to the downtown Cincinnati area.
“It’s a requisite of having a large dog … that you take them outside and you get (them) enough exercise,” he said. “This is a resource that can help Cincinnati be a thriving metropolis for people who want to live here who love their pets.”
James Mathews and his wife Emily enjoy bringing their English bulldog, Turbo, to the new park. In his spare time he helps with upkeep.
“Fido Field is one more element that makes downtown feel like a neighborhood,” Mathews said. “It provides a space for Turbo to stretch her legs and exercise, but also offers us the opportunity to meet other dog lovers that live downtown. It is a great social outlet for four-legged and two-legged users alike.”