On Saturday, March 2, 2019, North Wood United Methodist Church (Northwest District) celebrated the grand opening of the North "Woof" Community Dog Park on their property. A crowd of almost 150 people from the community joined together with church members to commemorate the park’s official opening and to participate in a blessing of the park by Rev. Scott Coats, pastor of North Wood UMC.
Florence Mayor Steve Holt, as well as City Council members Kaytrina Simmons and Andy Betterton, attended the celebration. Mayor Holt and Councilwoman Simmons performed a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon for the Dog Park. Mayor Holt said, “We take this opportunity to thank North Wood United Methodist Church, and everyone who has worked so hard to make this possible. This is a great addition [to the city of Florence].”
Following the blessing of the park and the ribbon cutting, many attendees chose to participate in a service of the Blessing of the Pets. Rev. Coats offered individual blessings approximately 50 dogs.
Rev. Coats said, “Part of our vision is to reach out to our neighborhood, to become a part of the community and instead of just being a building in the community. The response has been amazing. In the short time the park has been open, we’ve seen this become a gathering place for our neighbors. We are now known around town as ‘the church with the dog park.’ I am thrilled that we could offer this much needed gift to the community.”
North “Woof” Community Dog Park provides a safe, fenced-in area for both people and dogs to gather to play, socialize, and build community. It is located on the campus of North Wood United Methodist Church - 1129 Wills Ave, Florence, AL. The park is open to the public from daylight to dark 7 days a week.