True Green Cities / Jumping, Swimming & Splashing in an Old Warehouse

402 Vulcan Street, Buffalo, NY

Murphy and Niko demonstrate the joy of swimming in Canine Splash’s “Jumpin’ for Joy” pool.

I’ve written a bit about my sister’s new business Canine Splash in BuffaloCanine Splash is opening for business today, Wednesday, September 28, 2011, in a 1920 warehouse on the edge of Olmsted’s Riverside Park.  Canine Splash provides an indoor, full year, recreational swimming experience for the canine community in an environmentally friendly setting and is the only place of its kind in the Western New York area.

Greening Canine Splash

In developing their new location, my sister Joanne Campagna and her business partner Jill Bernstein specifically chose an existing building to avoid the impacts of new construction.  They specified recycled, repurposed, and sustainable building products ranging from flooring to appliances. Lighting over the pools was changed to T-5 ballast fluorescents to ensure it is mercury free, and they did substantial research to determine the best sanitation and purification system for the pool water.

The pools use a heat pump system to heat the water called Aquacal and use a combined salt water and ozonation system that is capable of killing bacteria from giardia to legionnaire’s called AutopPilot Salt Water Generators and CoPilot Ozone Generator. Basically it’s ozone (or oxygen) on steroids. The salt content is much less than say the ocean, but enough to both cleanse and heal!

Inside Canine Splash

Amelia Ballak’s paintings of Petra and Finley in Canine Splash’s office. Petra is Jill’s curly coated retriever and Finley is Joanne’s Barbet (French water dog). Both are award-winning Dock Diving dogs.

All paints were low VOC, even the ”Breeds of the Water” dog paintings that line the walls of the center painted by Amelia Ballak. The two primary pools are surrounded by 100% recycled composite decking called  Moisture Shield. A new concrete floor was put in the swim center and new low VOC carpeting was installed in the office.  The use of low VOC products and materials is significant and important – when there are no or limited “volatile organic compounds” being released into the air, the air quality is healthier for both dogs and humans.

Where a wet dog is a happy dog

Inside the Dog Swim Center

Canine Splash is becoming a community center for dog lovers.

Joanne and Jill had a “sneak peak” open house two weeks ago that was a huge success.  And what I observed was that this new venture of theirs has resonated across the dog and pet community.  More than just a place to “swim or exercise your dog”, it’s a place for a community of pet lovers to come together, share their love of their dogs and their interest in sharing time and ideas with like-minded folks.  For me, it’s been thrilling to see them go full force with my occasional recommendations about green products, materials and approaches.  What started out as an idea to have an all-year pool for their swimming dogs, has become a new way to bring a community together.  And what better place to do it in than an old building.  Brava Joanne and Jill, and happy swimming Finley, Petra and Kolby!!  Jump Swim Splash!   (And for more photos of Canine Splash and the Sneak Peak Open House on September 16th, go to this Facebook gallery.)

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