Sam Sattley Share

Oct 13, 2022  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

A dog park exists in Mar­i­on thanks to the ini­tia­tive of a 10-year-old boy and col­lab­o­ra­tive fol­low-through. Sam Sat­t­ley was chat­ting with his mom about a year ago about dif­fer­ent ways their church could reach the com­mu­ni­ty. He asked, Does Mar­i­on have a dog park?” She said it didn’t…and from there, the UltiMutt’ idea was born.

Then a 5th grad­er at King’s Acad­e­my, Sam put togeth­er a plan to present to Uni­ty Chris­t­ian Church. They were imme­di­ate­ly on board. Sam even designed the con­cept for the logo, sketched out the park’s fea­tures, and even came up with the name, UltiMutt Dog Park.

One year lat­er, 11-year-old Sam is see­ing the fruits of his ideation and help­ing hand. About $21,500 was raised in all from the local church com­mu­ni­ty, neigh­bors, and beyond. The park’s four main sup­port­ers out­side of church dona­tions include Dave’s Exca­vat­ing, Lowe’s, Trac­tor Sup­ply, and Cathy Hun­ni­cutt of RE/MAX Realty. 

Dona­tions are still being accept­ed, but the dog park is up and run­ning. Locat­ed in the back yard of Uni­ty Chris­t­ian Church at 140 N. Penn­syl­va­nia St. in Mar­i­on, the pub­lic is wel­come at any time dur­ing day­light hours, free of charge. The park fea­tures a dou­ble-gate entry, two small pavil­ions for shade, a large sec­tion for large dogs, a small sec­tion for small­er dogs, bench­es, pic­nic tables, path­ways, and a drink­ing-water instal­la­tion that will not freeze in the winter.

When asked how it made him feel that the dog park now exists fol­low­ing the offi­cial grand open­ing on July 21st, 2022, Sam stat­ed, I’m hap­py because a dog park actu­al­ly got made.” He added, It brings guests to our church and the dogs get to have fun.”

Vol­un­teers from the church main­tain the park includ­ing Sam and his fam­i­ly. Sam’s duties include push-mow­ing the small sec­tion and pick­ing up trash and debris. He also helps the church once a month by run­ning the pro­jec­tor dur­ing ser­vices, and is involved in a youth group.

To learn more about Uni­ty Chris­t­ian Church and the UltiMutt Dog Park, vis­it uccof​mar​i​on​.org, or like and fol­low UltiMutt Dog Park of Uni­ty Chris­t­ian Church on Facebook.

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