At French Lake Dog Park, the new Bark de Triomphe and Macaron Maze now stand proudly for the entertainment of all four-legged visitors.
Without a lake, a creek that could pass as a smaller and less glamorous Seine, or anything noticeably French about it, French Lake Dog Park in Federal Way did not exactly live up to its name.
That was until local Girl Scout Hanna Banks decided to bring a French flair to the park for her Golden Award community project.
This award is the highest honor afforded to girl scouts and can only be awarded to those who have already achieved bronze and silver awards. In order to be eligible for the award, scouts must undertake a project to serve their community.
“I wanted to give back to my community and cheer people up because taking pictures of dogs and just being around dogs in general makes me happy,” said Banks.
Banks was inspired to upgrade the dog park because of the dogs she watches and by the name of the park itself. She wanted to come up with French-themed fixtures to correlate with the park’s name. She also wanted to pay tribute to the first dog she watched who needed to be put down by giving other dogs a fun place to play.
“After Covid and how depressing it was, I knew it would make a big difference,” she said.
Banks believed it would also bring people together as they interacted with new people and their dogs. Lowe’s, Petsmart and Home Depot donated materials to the project to assist with its completion.
Banks — who is attending the University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall — said she thought the project turned out “really well.”
“It’s really nice to see everyone interacting with their dogs,” she said. “Rather than just watching them run the whole time, they’re actually trying to get them to go see the Bark de Triomphe or jump on the tires.”
Many people have expressed their excitement about this project to Banks, noting its benefits for the community and especially pet owners.
“It’s totally exceeded my expectations,” Banks said.