History of the Park

Rusty's Place in the news: See USA Today article on the dog park in our community,
in addition to Southeast Discovery's "Dogs Rule" article before the park opened.

The Dog Park of Rarity Bay, officially designated as "Rusty's Place," started out as a vision and a dream. A small group of residents, led by Marlene Eeg, Jack Wright and Nancie Guido, formed a 6-member steering committee in 2008 to address the need for a safe park area within our community to socialize with other residents while exercising their dogs. They sought a 1- to 2-acre piece of land that would become located within an 11-acre parcel designated as Community Park. After developing drawings and a business plan, which were then presented to the Rarity Bay Community Association (RBCAI) and the Developer, the group's plans were approved and permission was granted to develop with a generous 5-year lease. The Dog Park itself is completely self funded and has not received any funding from Rarity Bay Development nor has its community budget been impacted.

The Dog Park was funded solely through an appeal to individuals throughout the community and a series of independent fundraising events throughout the year 2009, two of which were held annually (Memorial Day picnic and fall Shaggy Chic Super Sale) to raise funding to continue enhancement of the park and keep membership dues reasonable. With generous support from local residents and businesses, over $30,000 was raised in private funds by year end 2009 to build and maintain the first phase of the Dog Park, which opened on September 10, 2010. It could not have been done without the help of many volunteers. As a result, this park is certainly a welcome amenity that will be enjoyed for years to come and a great improvement to the community. It is managed and insured privately by Dog Park member residents. Shaggy Chic was discontinued in 2015 after the board determined that it already had enough funding for the park.

Our goal was to implement all four phases of the park including a gazebo-like structure and landscaping the entire perimeter. Out of Eden provided the initial formal plans for the park that gave our community the vision as to what the park might look like; this was a huge advantage for our initial fundraising drive. Nature by Design donated their time to install the landscaping with their proposal and given a discount on all plants items. Many talented individuals, working toward a common goal.

A modest fee to join was discontinued, but an annual maintenance fee is required for residents be park memberships. See “Membership” tab for more information.

We will always be grateful for these people and companies who stepped up to the plate in the early days to donate for development of our park.
Early Park Development Donations and Services
Out of Eden
Nature by Design
Rarity Bay CAI
Danita Copely
Jack Wright
Marlene and Arvey Eeg
Mike and Nancie Guido
Cheryl and Fred Heinecke
Robert Sebeck, Tellico Village
Ronnie and Faye Marcum Tim and Pam Murray Anonymous
I Dig Rarity Bay Raffles
Keith Harding Photography
Family Fun Dog Wash
2009/2010 Memorial Day Cookouts
Tarver Distributing
Benton's Country Hams
David and Kathy Ecklund, Regina Harnett, Chuck Moore, John Jeffcoat,
2010 Top Dog Calendar
Serendipity Home and Gifts
Cedar Bluff Wine & Spirits
Smokey Mountain Feed
Dr. Molly Harriss Dentistry
A Cut Above Pet Grooming
M Salon
Sweetwater Lily Pad
Dave's Place
Jennifer Downer, State Farm Ins.ce
Tellico Bay Animal Hospital
Rarity Communities
Miller Wholesale Carpet
Canines & Couture Fashion Show, October 2010
Sweetwater Lily Pad
Snowbird Mountain Lodge
Keith Harding Photography
RT Lodge
Family Fun Dog Wash
Elite Hair Design
Fairview Jewelers-Gold Exch.
Small Paws Petite Boarding
Tellico Bed & Biscuit
Tempo Resources, Inc.
Who Let the Dogs Out
Wolfgang Interiors
Season's Restaurant, Zach Watkins-Master Cuts Mobile Grooming, The Robin's Nest, Curves at Lenoir City, Denise Cooper, The Village Salon, Sweet Celebrations, Miss Maudy's, Tellico Grains Bakery, Out of Eden, Marcie Dershimer, Bobby Todd Antiques, Trylov Designs (Sharon Trylovich)

Rusty's Place at the Dog Park of Rarity Bay :: dedicated September 10, 2010
A beautiful space set aside in our community for owners to come together to enjoy the freedom of allowing our dogs to play and explore offlead, giving owners time to socialize, relax and reflect.

The park was named Rusty's Place in honor of Mike and Nancie Guidos' dog Rusty. They were given that privilege for making a substantial monetary gift to the park's construction and their efforts in fundraising