Volunteer work is underway at Woodside Park in Viera to add a dog park and playground for children and young-minded adults. The park is off Murrell Road at Crane Creek.
There will be two fenced dog parks — one for big dogs, one for small. It includes a dog shelter and two misting stations where dogs and their people can cool off in the shade.
The volunteer effort has been hampered by the coronavirus. More than 100 people have signed up to help, but group sizes are being limited to allow for social distancing. Groups are being kept to about 20 people for the time being.
In addition to the dog parks, the new playground area will have slides and tunnels on elevated mounds. Old tires will be painted and used as climbing stations and play obstacles for kids. Other features in the park include a walking path, an area for yoga classes, a rock garden and a place for outdoor movies.
Michelle Webb, who coordinates the volunteer work for the Viera East Community Development District, says there is an area that can be used for a farmers market. Also, a request is going to be made to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to stock the small lake at the park entrance for fishing.
The park will feature large umbrellas and shade sails, as well as benches and tables made from recycled plastic bottles. Colorful Adirondack chairs will be placed around the park.
Volunteers are coming from the community and Brevard Zoo, which will conduct education programs at the park. Some volunteers are high school students doing community service credits.
Businessman Mark Pieloch and his wife, Tetiana, have provided a $70,000 grant to finance the work. The Pielochs have underwritten two other community parks in Melbourne. John Casey, the project coordinator, has worked on all the parks with the Pielochs.
Casey is particularly proud of the dog shelters, which are solid wood structures tied together with hurricane straps.
“People in the area might want to ride out a hurricane in these shelters because they are built so strong,” he said, laughing. “Our dog shelters normally have shingle roofs, but because this is Viera, these will have tile roofs.”
The A. Duda & Sons Inc. has donated all the sod — 15 palettes worth. LSP Nursery is donating workers for the sod installation. D Bell General Contracting is providing labor for the project.
Work has been slowed by permitting issues with Brevard County. The county originally designated the dog shelter as a “house” and wanted it to meet the housing code. After some negotiating, that issue was resolved. Code Enforcement is involved in the fencing plans around the dog parks.
The work is being done by the Viera East Community Development District. Barring any unforeseen delays, work is expected to be completed by June or July.