The city of Dayton will get its first “official” dog park later this year in the Linden Heights neighborhood.
On Saturday, about 47 volunteers removed trash and cleaned up Highland Park to start preparations for a new dog park. Highland Park is at the northeast corner of Wyoming Street and Steve Whalen Boulevard.
The 12-acre park already is a popular spot among dog owners, who bring their pooches for walks and play time.
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The park will remain multi-use, but volunteers will install a new 21,000-square-foot dog training area, said Mike Schommer, president of the Walnut Hills Neighborhood Association.
Dayton has a dog park in the Deeds Point park area, north of the Mad River. But that isn’t officially recognized as a dog park, Schommer said, and the city doesn’t actively maintain that space as a park, and a developer has an option for that land.
The group is a partner on the project, along with the Linden Heights neighborhood and Wagtown, a local group devoted to making the community more dog friendly.
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Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County awarded thousands of dollars to the project to pay for fencing and signs.
The plan is for a “Wagtown trail” that connects Highland Park to Cleveland Park, which is about half a mile away to the southeast. Volunteers expect to paint paw prints to mark the trail, and dog owners will be able to walk a roughly 1-mile loop between the parks.
Another part of Highland Park will allow dogs to be off leash if their owners can keep the animals under control using voice and sight commands, Schommer said.
On Saturday, dog-loving crews donated 141 hours of service, and removed about 1,200 pounds of trash and bulk items, said Beth Miller, president and CEO of Wagtown.
Volunteers picked up debris and glass, assessed the existing infrastructure, cleaned up the park and mulched the playground areas, Miller said.