The original dog park was built in 2003 with a $10,000 donation from the Penn Valley Rotary Club, who also provided labor for the project.  It was located along Squirrel Creek on Western Gateway property and was only 60 ft X 120 ft in size.  It included chain link fencing, gates, 3 benches, waste cans, and railroad ties for steps to the creek to make it easier for the dogs and owners to play in the water, an abandoned NID building, and a temporary shade structure donated by volunteers. (The shade structure was eventually moved to the current dog park.)

The Gold Country Dog Park Association was created on April 23, 2007. The dog park was relocated to Western Gateway's old horse arena area in that same year.  Volunteers from the dog park and the Church of Latter Day Saints helped tear down the old fencing surrounding the horse arena so the project could get under way.

The Gold Country Dog Park Association filed with the state to become a non-profit 501(c)3 California corporation on August 13, 2007.

May 2008 - Phase 1 of the building project at the new site for the dog park was accomplished through a generous grant from the Nevada County Land Trust, Al Salter Fund for Animals. The grant paid for ground preparation, fencing and concrete work using Hansen Bros., Empire Fence and Creative Curbs. Western Gateway paid for road access to the area, a parking lot, and a separate ADA compliant parking area. It also paid for a storage shed and 4 maple trees. (The trees were never planted at the dog park because the Association failed to get County approval. They were relocated to another area of Western Gateway.) The new dog park was approximately 1 acre in size and the total cost for this project was $172,841.

Until the summer of 2013 dog park users were providing their own drinking water for their dogs. At that time, volunteers extended water lines from the main park to supply drinking stations and to irrigate 6 donated Linden trees. They also installed a sprinkler system to reduce urine odor and mitigate dust issues from the crushed sand ground cover. Western Gateway paid for this, plus a vault toilet facility and a drinking fountain.

The current Gold Country Dog Park Assoc. Board of Directors was elected on June 25, 2014 during its first annual membership meeting. The Board voted to add the dba “Friends of Western Gateway Dog Park” at the meeting and officially filed this with the County on July 9, 2014. Their By-Laws were adopted on July 26, 2014 and the Memorandum of Understanding between the dog park and Western Gateway was put into effect on October 20, 2014.

February 2015 - Phase II of the dog park project was completed with final grant money from the Bear Yuba Land Trust (formerly known as the Nevada County Land Trust), Al Salter Fund for Animals. This phase included doubling the size of the existing dog park by fencing in 1 acre of the surrounding oak grove, and removing poison oak and brush in that area. It also included adding signage, benches, concrete ADA ramps and paths, renovating the dog yards and parking area, planting 11 maple trees inside the yards, and adding 2 pipe shade structures. The work was done by the following companies: Sun Fence, Hansen Bros., Earthshape Landscaping, Bald Mountain Nursery, Swasey's Wholesale, Belson Outdoors, Signworks and Dog-On-It-Parks. The dog park now encompasses a total of 2 fenced acres.

Improvements funded by the McBeth Foundation in 2015 and executed in 2015-2016:

More maintenance work in the oak grove to clear dead trees and limbs, removing additional poison oak and grading the area.

More water lines for the dog yards and the oak grove, repairs to the ADA picnic tables, adding a concrete ramp for the tractor shed and a large pipe shade structure in the "all dog" yard.

A comprehensive website to increase visibility within the community.

Plans to purchase an additional storage shed with maintenance equipment for the oak grove have been curtailed because of recent break-ins throughout Western Gateway Park and the dog park. Equipment purchases will be postponed until it is safe to do so. Most of the funds have been diverted to the following projects in 2016 instead: 

  1. Completion of the memorial area in front of the dog park in recognition of the Bear Yuba Land Trust (Al Salter Fund for Animals) and John Taylor (trust committee chairman and close friend of Al Salter), and to also include a bench, signage, a large dog statue, boulders, and a brick patio to incorporate our donated pet bricks
  2.  An asphalt walkway leading to the dog park
  3.  A new free-standing locked bulletin board for official dog park use
  4. Shade cloth backing for 3 of the pipe shade structures
  5. A roof extension on the existing storage building to hang a Western Gateway Dog Park entrance sign and protect the old community bulletin board and mail box area from the weather (plus provide partial shade over the cement patio)
  6. Reworking of all nine water station areas for proper drainage and adding ADA lever hose bibs to all
  7. Replacing one Maple tree
  8. Replacing the sliding doors on the old community bulletin board

Further work done in 2016:

  1. Establishing a designated pool area with 2 stock tanks and rock drainage areas for dumping the dirty water
  2. Adding a fenced off parking area for the maintenance dept.
  3. Adding 2 stall mats to the large dog yard for better drainage around the water bowl and rinse off area
  4. Irrigation repair and yard maintenance

Work done in 2017:

    1.  Siding added to the shed extension and a roof for the newer outside bulletin board 
    2.  A covered shade structure for the middle dog yard 
    3.  A display board to hold the memorial bricks    
    4.  A new cement walkway connecting the restroom to the dog park entrance  
    5.  More agility equipment for the small dog area    
    6.  Two picnic benches near the parking lot    
    7.  Additional signage and a poop bag dispenser near the parking lot
    8.  A water tank for the training yard 
    9.  Rock surrounds with rubber mats for all the water bowl areas

Total Funds Received From the Bear Yuba Land Trust = $144,321

Phase I $94,703    2008
Phase II $49,618   2015

Total Funds Received From Western Gateway = $78,138

Phase I $78,138     2008
Phase II    -0-         2015

Total Funds Received From The McBeth Foundation in 2015 = $15,000

Discretionary Funding From Skye Woods at The McBeth Foundation in 2015  = $15,000 / 2016 = $5,000 / 2017 = $6,000

2016 Mural Grant from Russell & Eileen Hill = $1,000