As the program continued to grow, Johnessee approached the Forsyth County Education Foundation several years ago with the idea of building a dog park on campus to allow for further program growth. The foundation gave the school a grant to help it get started, and the school’s engineering students set up the fencing and agility course that now makes up the park.
Johnessee announced that student Mandy Yang and Lambert’s Youth Give Back Club also donated a portion of a $10,000 Star 94 Give Back Giveaway prize awarded by Delta Community Credit Union in 2020.
Now Johnessee said she was thrilled to see the park finally complete.
Principal Dr. Gary Davison and Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden helped one of Lambert’s students cut the ribbon, officially opening the park to the campus and community.
After the ribbon cutting, Nicolletti’s students demonstrated the agility course, guiding their furry friends over a jump bar, down a ramp, through a tunnel and in and out of weaving poles.
Rebecca Parker, assistant administrator and AP psychology professor at Lambert, said the park will be restricted to students only during the school day, but outside of school hours it will be open to the public to bring their own dogs to socialize, play and learn the course themselves.
Lambert executives said they are excited to see more little puppies on campus as they continue to grow the park and develop more community partnerships.
“We hope you continue to come and join us and connect with our kids because they are amazing humans and they can do just about anything,” Johnessee said.
Before closing the event, Nicoletti handed out goody bags filled with tennis balls and “Duck Quackers,” dog treats made by her students, to guests. Since 2020, they have partnered with Culinary Arts to mix, bake, wrap and sell the treats to school staff members to learn about business and finance.
During those two years, they made a profit of $600, which they decided to donate to the Forsyth County Humane Society.
After the event, Johnessee said Lambert Dog Park had its first official visitors to the current class of the Pups with Purpose program, which allows Forsyth County inmates to train and raise homeless or unwanted animals.
Lambert students and staff joined the program’s puppies at the park for cuddles and playtime, giving the little pooches a chance to socialize with people they didn’t know.
“We are so grateful for the support of the Forsyth County Education Foundation, Georgia Community’s Giveback Giveaway, Scot Rucker with Rucker Dog Training and the Pups with Purpose program for allowing us to continue to expand opportunities for all students,” said said Johnessee after the event. “We hope the smiles on our faces show you how much in love we are with this program.”