The city contributed half a million dollars toward the project. Now, the Mary Margaret and Ed Kelley YMCA dog park has come to fruition.
Three years after the city reached an agreement with the YMCA, the doors to Ormond Beach's new Mary Margaret and Ed Kelley dog park at the YMCA are now open.
Dogs of all sizes ran together in the 1.5-acre park soon after the first ribbon cutting the morning of Thursday, Sept. 6. Elected officials and community members, some of whom brought their own furry family members, were all smiles at the grand opening, which was made possible after a little less than a year of construction. Teresa Rand, president and CEO of the Volusia Flagler Family YMC, said it was exciting to be able to open the park to the public.
"The Y is a community center, and this is just another way that we have something for everybody in the community," Rand said.
People don't have to be members of the YMCA to enjoy the facility, but dogs must be registered with the YMCA to use it. Registered dogs will have special YMCA dog tags. Rand said the dog park project would not have been possible without Volusia ECHO grant funding, as well as financial assistance from the city and private donations by Charlie and Chris Lydecker; Charlie Lydecker is the CEO of Foundation Risk Partner, a Daytona Beach-based insurance agency.
Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington said it was great to finally have a quality dog park in the city. He said the grand opening of the park is part of the "tornado" of all the good things that are currently happening in Ormond Beach.
The park is named after Volusia County Council Chair and Ormond Beach's former mayor, Ed Kelley, and his wife. But Kelley said the name is not as important as the city finally having a dog park, which he said was a goal of his since before the mid-2000s. It took a lot of "moving parts" to bring the park to fruition, and he said he's thankful for all the work completed to make this happen.
"Sometimes, things that take a little longer turn out for the best," Kelley said. "And in this instance, I think it did."