Dogs in Perryville now have a new place to run.
A dog park has been recently been opened in City Park, an addition that Parks and Recreation director Jim Cadwell noted that the newest facility has always been in the city’s 20-year Master Plan for the park system.
“We surveyed the public and asked what kids of amenities they would like to see in the park,” Cadwell said. “The most popular one was a splash pad then also listed was a dog park. That’s just kind of how it got here, from that document. We just wanted to keep in touch with what people wanted to see.”
The park was converted from a baseball field that had been rarely used and complete with benches, water hydrants and according to Cadwell not only serves as a place to have fun with dogs, but also serves a purpose for people.
“Dog parks are good not only for the dogs, but also for people,” he said. “Dogs can meet new friends and hang out, but that is also true for the dog owners, as they can meet people that they normally would never see or meet otherwise.”
The dogs are allowed to run in the dog park off-leash, and the park is divided into spaces for large and small dogs.
“Typically dogs are in the backyard either chained up or behind a fence,” Cadwell said. “People may walk them around the block, which is great, but they are still on a leash. A dog park offers a big open space where they get to run around and really exercise.”
Cadwell was unsure how well the dog park would be received by people within the community so the park is sprarsely populated with activities for dogs, but should the park be well used, more amenities will be on the way.
“We didn’t want to put a lot of money into the dog park until we were really sure that it would take off and be used, which I think it will,” Cadwell said. “In time we may add some additional things. There’s not a lot there right now, but in time we hope to make it a little nicer with features for dogs and people.”
If Michelle More of Perryville has anything to say about it, the dog park will become a fixture in the community.
She brought three dogs to the park twice on Tuesday, along with her daughter Aimee.
She was excited to have such a park in Perryville.
“As soon as I saw that a dog park was coming, I couldn’t wait to try it out,” More said. “We try to make it out here as much as possible as long as it is nice and cool.”
Cadwell is happy with the feedback he has received about the dog park and sees it as a welcome addition the park and the community.
“I think the dog park is a good thing,” Cadwell said. “I think it’s good for the community, dog owners and good for the dogs. Hopefully people go and take advantage of it.”