No matter their size or breed, our pets leave footprints on our hearts that are immeasurable. Their love and loyalty are the inspiration behind the St. Charles Park Foundation’s Dog Memorial at Delnor Woods Park.
Dog owners may honor their pets by hanging tags upon the sculpture Timeless Tags at the Dog Memorial. This scruffy, larger-than-life-size steel sculpture was created by local sculptor Douglas Eageny, who welded steel loops of varying sizes where pet owners could attach tags in a tribute to their fur-ever friend. The sculpture continues to grow and change as more and more tags are added each season. It is a colorful tribute to the many pets who have shared walks and snuggles with their owners through the years.
“It’s a powerful memorial,” said Jayne Beck, current president of the St. Charles Park Foundation. “Every time I see it, there are more new tags and plaques.”
The vision for the project started with Julie Miller-Longo and Vanessa Bell-LaSota, members of the St. Charles Park Foundation, both who had lost their own treasured pets. Miller-Longo said it’s similar to an idea of people who place locks on a bridge in Paris in a tribute to their love.
The memorial sculpture is open to everyone, and it is free to add a tag. Additionally, the St. Charles Park Foundation invites residents and businesses to purchase a permanent bronze plaque, placed on the sculpture’s pedestal, for a reasonable fee. The plaques provide name recognition, making it a perfect way for anyone to commemorate the loss of a pet and show their support for this unique tribute.
“St. Charles offers an abundance of beautiful open space, walking trails and three dog parks perfect for getting some fresh air and exercise,” said Beck. “A lovely, landscaped plaza was designed and installed by the park district’s parks department around the Dog Memorial making it a peaceful, outdoor setting surrounded by nature.”
Timeless Tags was made of mild steel with copper and stainless-steel accents to withstand the elements, while slowly changing hues through the years. The sculptor, Eageny, is a long time St. Charles resident who has shared his work through local exhibits including the annual Sculpture in the Park exhibit.
Beck said the St. Charles Park Foundation is currently seeking new members to join its initiative of supporting the Park District for everyone to enjoy St. Charles parks, facilities, programs and events.
“The foundation is a wonderful way to get involved in the community,” Beck said. ‘We have a lot more we would like to do and we’re revving up for it.”
To learn more about the Park Foundation, visit stcparkfoundation.org. To inquire about the open trustee positions, email email@example.com.