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Downtown Janesville Dog Station Plan wins Small Dollar Big Impact Grant


A proposal to install two dog waste stations in the new downtown Town Square park has been selected to receive AARP Wisconsin’s third Small Dollar, Big Impact grant of 2021.

Town Square is designated as a year-round dog-friendly park, whereas other parks/trails are closed to dogs from May-September. The design committee of Downtown Janesville, Inc. plans to use the $1,000 grant from AARP to get the project off the ground.

Emily Arthur, Executive Director of the Business Improvement District, submitted the grant application. She hopes to order the new dog waste stations as soon as possible and have them installed and ready for use by early May, just in time for the first farmers market of the season.

“The installation of the dog waste stations will be a welcomed addition to an already amazing new space so that all visitors will have an enjoyable experience. Also, there will be no excuse to not pick up after the dogs,” Arthur said. “This space is meant to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors of all ages, including dogs, and we want to make sure everyone feels welcome to this beautiful new space.

AARP Wisconsin’s launched its Small Dollar, Big Impact grant program in 2020 and is now in its second year of helping proposed projects move forward in rural and urban parts of the state.

“We are thrilled to have received this grant from AARP. These dog waste stations will make a huge impact on keeping this beautiful new area clean for everyone to enjoy including our four-legged residents,” Arthur said.

Organizers of the dog waste disposal proposal have identified six primary categories that will require financial assistance, including purchase of the two stations, signage for instructions and recognition, supplies and materials, shipping, and installation. “With this grant, AARP will help us meet the expenses identified in each of these categories,” Arthur said.

The City of Janesville has agreed to install and maintain these stations. “We feel that by providing the dog waste stations we will be providing an amenity to keep the Town Square area well maintained by encouraging dog owners to pick up after their dogs,” Arthur said.

Town Square is a new downtown park that is centrally located along the banks of the Rock River and has amenities such as the Blain Gilbertson Family Heritage Bridge, two pavilions, the Great Lawn, festival street and an interactive water feature named “The Bubbler.”

The Small Dollar, Big Impact grant program is open to some nonprofits and government entities. For more information on the program, visit

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