Motorcycle club, others join to spruce up Anderson dog park

Apr. 25—ANDERSON — Members of the Redrum Motorcycle Club's First Nations Killbuck chapter believe in "spreading positivity on two wheels," according to the group's website.

On Saturday, more than a dozen members, clad in the group's signature black leather vests, applied some of that two-wheeled goodwill toward beautifying a space used by the four-legged residents of the Animal Protection League's shelter on Dewey Street.

Armed with chainsaws, trimmers and paintbrushes, the group spent the day cutting and hauling away brush, painting signage and otherwise working to spruce up the enclosure in front of APL's property along Eighth Street.

The idea, organizers said, was not only to beautify the space but to raise awareness of a fairly well-kept secret among the city's amenities.

"A lot of people don't even know this park is here," said Chaps Benfield, a local podcaster and motorcycle enthusiast who helped organize the work day.

"This is the second work day we've had, and the first work day, they did a lot of work out here. It was in really bad shape, and now we're in here doing what we're doing, trying to finish it."

Work like that being done at the dog park is important, the volunteers said, because having safe places for pets and their owners to congregate is seen by many as a quality-of-life issue.

Jennifer Lindsey, who lives next door to the property, said she was pitching in to work "for the safety of the animals and their individual owners and for the safety of the rescue animals or the abandoned animals in the APL area, so that they can have a place to run free without being in a cage or on a leash."

Benfield noted that, during the pandemic and with inflation gripping much of the economy, keeping community facilities like the Canine Corral in top shape has become more difficult.

"In our city, like a lot of cities, there's not a lot of that going on, and times are hard, money's tight and something like this gets put on the back burner and forgotten about," he said. "People that utilize this see it falling apart."

He added that eventually, the group would like to see lighting and security cameras added to the dog park to maximize its use and discourage crime in the area.

"This is supposed to be a safe place," he said, "not only for our fur babies, but for the owners. These are grassroots efforts right here."

The local Redrum chapter is starting to receive more invitations to help out with service projects, which members agree is a good problem to have.

"We're here for the animals," Jeremy Lambert said, gesturing toward two dogs exploring nearby, noses to the ground.

"Anything we can do to help the community is what we're about. As (opportunities) start coming in, we'll have to start prioritizing, but anything we can do to help the community, we're going to try to help."

Follow Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or call 765-640-4809.