Alexandra Seltzer Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
2:56 p.m Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 Filed in Southern Palm Beach County
BOYNTON BEACH - The city’s first and only dog park is named Boynton Village Park and Dog Park but officials want to rename it to honor a former police officer.
Joseph Crowder died at 44 in December after suffering a heart attack while exercising. On Tuesday, city officials discussed renaming the park after Crowder.
Crowder, a father of two young boys, worked for the police department for 14 years. He started as a community service officer, and became a K9 officer in 2012. His partners were police dogs Daxxx and Iro. Crowder was also a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army reserves.
The park opened in November on Renaissance Commons Boulevard just east of Congress Avenue. It was built as part of the incoming residential project, Cortina.
Commissioner Joe Casello mentioned the idea. He said he already spoke with Police Chief Jeffrey Katz, Crowder’s family, and JKM Developers, who built the park.
“To my, not surprise, but to my joy (the developer) was on board from day one. He was excited about it. His staff was excited about it,” Casello said.
JKM will pay for the signage, and wants to include a bronze bust of a police dog. Also, there are plans for the park to be expanded.
“So it’s a win win situation for Boynton Beach as far as a dog park and I think it tributes to one of our great officers who passed way too early and to the K9 units and those working dogs and what they do for the city of Boynton Beach,” Casello said.
All commissioners agreed.
The dog park is fenced in and is about half an acre. One portion is for large dogs and the other is for those under 35 pounds. The city owns the park, and it’s open from dawn to dusk. JKM Developers built it. The development team spent more than $500,000 to create an entry road, a walking path, landscaping and lighting.
“I like to believe the park itself is a place where you could come to forget about the stresses of the world for a while, where on any given day, you may find ‘millennial’ talking with a Boynton Beach Senior, discussing the funny things they love about their dogs,” Jeff Johnson, principal with JKM Developers, told the Palm Beach Post.
Before the name change is official, the city’s parks and recreation advisory board will have to approve it, which will likely happen Feb. 27.