Gautier students get a surprise after writing mayor to build a dog park

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A group of third graders at Martin Bluff Elementary School in Gautier decided their city needed a dog park. At Tuesday night's Gautier City Council meeting their dream came to life. The determined children were surprised by Ingalls Ship building and Lowe's when the companies offered to help the city pay to build the park.

One of those determined students is Lorelei Abell. She is in Mrs. Shuster's third grade class. Lorelei got the idea for the park one morning while petting her dog.

"I was like mom can we have a dog park, and then the whole recess thing started and then this happened," said Abell.

She shared her idea with her classmates, and one day their teacher allowed them to stay in from recess to write letters to Mayor Gordon Gollott. At the meeting Mayor Gollott spoke about how impressed he was by the student's determination.

"It is unbelievable how they have taken the time, skipped their recess. Made what you see over there on them posters, and on their weekend they created a lemonade stand," said Gollott.

The children took the project home with them, literally. Several of them met at a golf course one weekend, and sold lemonade to the golfers. Jennifer Shuster is their teacher, and she couldn't be more proud.

"They are just excited about everything they do. They put their hearts into it, and this was a really special project to them. When they made their minds up to do it, they didn't stop until it was absolutely completed," said Shuster.

Shepard State Park is where it's going to be built, and the student's hope that some of their diagrams will be used for the project.

Several dilapidated picnic tables in the open field will be turned into obstacles for the dogs once construction begins. The first work day has been set for early October.

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