A Unique Natural Legacy

Where dogs can explore and thrive

Amy Edenburn Furry with her dogsAmy Edenburn Furry lived an active and full life filled with a loving husband, family, homes in Indiana and Florida, successful career paths, and a true love of nature and the outdoors. 

You’d be hard pressed to find a time, even as a child, when dogs weren’t part of her life. When Amy passed away from cancer in 2021, her husband Steve Furry knew that he wanted to create a lasting memory of his wife, Amy. As his plan evolved, it only made sense that her love of dogs would be front and center. 

“Before Amy passed, we talked about the fact that funeral flowers were so temporary,” shares Furry. “She wanted folks to give in her memory, if they wanted, to something that was more lasting and impactful. I’m not sure exactly when it came to me, but I knew that combining Amy’s love of nature and dogs would be a perfect legacy in her memory.” 

Furry originally planned to work with a developer near their Florida home, but he encountered too many obstacles during the process. He was frustrated, but still intent on bringing his plan to fruition. Enter Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation. 

“Much of our family is in Indiana and it began to make so much sense to find a place for a dog park up here,” says Furry. “My son knew someone at CCPR and after just one message, I received a return phone call from Kurtis Baumgartner, CCPR’s assistant director of parks and recreation. Kurtis was just so fired up about the project that the rest is really history.” 

Without Baumgartner, says Furry, the trail wouldn’t have happened. He shared that Baumgartner had a dream of creating a trail where dogs could meander and explore off-leash. The main CCPR dog park was already established, so this trail would extend the current park footprint. 

“Most state and national parks won’t allow dogs on the trails,” Furry says. “So, Amy and I were always looking for a local trail or the use of someone’s property to get out with the dogs. I believe this off-leash trail concept may be one of the first of its kind and I knew working with CCPR and their team was going to make it become reality.”

Amy Edenburn Furry Memorial Dog Trail ribbon cuttingWhen Furry first saw the land that would become home to the trail, he fell in love with the whole concept. “When I see dogs now on the trail, mine included, you can see them start out on the trail and then boom – they’re gone hopping over logs, playing in the leaves and just being free to explore in nature. That would have made Amy so happy.”

For others thinking of making a parks donation or creating a unique legacy, Furry says CCPR would be a great partner and that people shouldn’t be afraid to get creative. CCPR is open to thinking outside the box when it comes to nature and how to share it with the public to make a lasting impact for the community.

“The Amy Edenburn Furry Memorial Dog Trail opened to the public in November 2022, followed by its dedication in May of 2023, which was a very special day,” shares Furry.

Quote from Steve Furry

A Committed and Compassionate CCPR Partner

When assistant director of parks and recreation Kurtis Baumgartner answered his phone in 2021, Steve Furry was on the line and an unforgettable and impactful partnership was born.

“Steve inquired if Carmel Clay Parks would be interested in receiving a donation to benefit the dog park in memory of his late wife, Amy.  From our conversation, it was obvious Steve was a passionate, dedicated individual who wanted to make sure Amy’s legacy continued to live on. From there we met on-site at the dog park, where I gave him a tour and we discussed several park improvements that CCPR was considering for the dog park. He fell in love with the idea of an off-leash dog trail. 

One of the most important things in working with community partners or sponsors is identifying common ground so there is a mutual benefit between parties. In this instance, I was a little giddy that Steve was drawn toward the off-leash trail because it was a project that I really wanted to see come to fruition. 

I can’t say enough kind things about Steve. CCPR is extremely grateful that we could help fulfill his wishes. The donation made by the friends and family of Amy Edenburn Furry helped expedite CCPR’s vision for making the amenity a reality. Amy’s legacy lives on and the dog park has a whole new experience for four-legged friends to enjoy.”

For more information on how to partner with CCPR, contact resource development coordinator Kari Berger at kberger@carmelclayparks.com. 

Written By: Sheryl Rodgers

Sheryl focuses on branding and marketing engagement. She’s a storyteller, editorial and media consultant, and brand builder. This story was written in partnership with Pickett & Associates.