Dayton’s second dog park is open and officially welcoming furry visitors after a change in city code.
Some dog owners and their pets have used the Highland dog park since its fencing was installed in December.
But until a vote by Dayton City Commission on Wednesday, it was technically illegal for dogs to be off leash in public places, even inside of dog parks.
“Today, the passage of the legislation makes this an official dog park,” said said Mike Schommer, president of the Walnut Hills Neighborhood Association following the commission meeting. “It’s really Dayton’s first public dog park — so that’s a big deal for the community.”
The Highland dog park is located on the western end of Highland Park, along Steve Whalen Boulevard, near the Wyoming Street intersection.
The dog park cost about $9,000 and has a couple of separated play areas, ideally for larger and smaller dogs. The park has about 26,000 square feet of space.
The dog park’s official grand opening and ribbon-cutting is scheduled take for April 4.
But local residents have been bringing their dogs to the park since the fencing went in late last year.
Legally, dogs weren’t allowed to be off leash in the dog park until the city commission’s Wednesday vote amended city code, Schommer said.
Dayton code did not allow dogs to be off leash in any public place in Dayton, even inside enclosed, fenced areas.
Dayton has one other established dog park: the Deeds Point dog park. The park, located north of the Mad River and the Water Street District, has been operating for years.
The Highland dog park has been popular and is a welcome addition for a park that is benefiting from thousands of dollars in other upgrades, including new trees and new mulch for its playgrounds, Schommer said.
Four tree sculptures will be installed. The park is getting new meadows and walking trail.
Wagtown has helped create a dog-walking trail that connects Highland and Cleveland parks using painted paw prints on the ground.
The 1.5-mile walking loop, called the “Wagtown trail,” encourages healthy living and takes advantage of the close proximity of two very excellent city parks, Schommer said.