Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

Community Comes Together to Build a Place for Pooches – and People

Written by Tammie Watts, Government Affairs Director, Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

In 2019,  the Space Coast Association of REALTORS® transformed an unused plot of land into a robust space peppered with prancing dogs, smiling children, and happy pet owners. It was so successful, we decided to do it again.  See REALTORS® Make Melbourne's Dogs' Dreams Come True.

This year we teamed up with the City of Melbourne and several other businesses to build the Eau Gallie Dog Park.  Roofing contractors, plumbers, electricians and community volunteers, including our REALTOR® members, came together to create a new park for man’s best friend.

Grass area with picnic tables in the background at Eau Gallie Dog Park in Melbourne, FL

Photo courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

The dog park features Central Florida's first public "doggie" splash pad which includes twelve spraying jets. The dogs love the splash pad and enjoy jumping through the spray jets.  

A black dog jumping through the spray jets at Eau Gallie Dog Park in Melbourne, FL

Photo courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

The park also includes spraying fire hydrants, agility jumps, mounds and Fido's Fort, an interactive tunnel system.  And, the park is divided  into two sections, one for small dogs and one for large dogs so the smaller pooches can have a calmer and less overwhelming place to play.

Fido's Fort, an interactive tunnel system for dogs at Eau Gallie Dog Park in Melbourne, FL

Photo courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

In addition, NAR’s Placemaking Grant, which helped fund the park, was used to purchase 13 multicolored Adirondack chairs and benches, which were made entirely out of recycled materials.  Each chair bears a plaque with the Association’s name on it as well as an advocacy or community quote.

Picnic tables at Eau Gallie Dog Park in Melbourne, FL

Photo courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

The dog park welcomes community members and their four-legged friends to enjoy the great outdoors, making it just the sort of thing the Placemaking Grant was intended to do.  More importantly, the effort brought the community together to meet and greet each other.

The official "leash cutting" opened Melbourne's second "off-leash" dog park. And, we were able to help bring both of these parks to life.  

Tunnels for dogs at Eau Gallie Dog Park in Melbourne, FL

Photo courtesy of the Space Coast Association of REALTORS®

Our Association received a lot of appreciation for the park on social media and in the local newspapers.  The dog park even has its own Facebook page in which we are often mentioned.  It was a great feeling and prideful moment for us as we watched this underutilized park come to life.

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Community Outreach Programs

Housing Opportunity Grant
Housing Opportunity Grants support state and local REALTOR® Associations’ affordable housing activities. The goal of the program is to position REALTORS® as leaders in improving their communities by creating affordable housing
opportunities.

Smart Growth Grant
Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The Smart Growth Program offers state and local REALTOR® Associations to way to engage with government officials, community partners and the general public in planning and designing community’s future.

Diversity
Planned diversity initiatives makes good business sense. REALTOR® Associations with well-planned diversity programs create a stronger sense of community, particularly in neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreign-born and minority residents who are moving up the socioeconomic ladder and are buying homes.

NAR Placemaking Resources

Placemaking Guide: A Guide to Transform a Public Space into a Community Place
REALTORS® and state and local association staff can learn the details of Placemaking, the kinds of projects placemaking entails, how to organize them, and where to go for assistance and resources.

Placemaking Webinar Series
Our Placemaking Webinar Series will provide more in depth information on the various types of Placemaking and how REALTORS® were involved in Placemaking activities in their communities.

Placemaking Grant
The Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new public spaces, like pocket parks, trails & gardens, in a community. The grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects, which can be built under a year and cost less  than $200,000.

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Placemaking

Placemaking is a way to make your community a better place to live and work by transforming public spaces into vibrant community places.