Comprised of more than 200 sprawling acres, Austintown Township Park is now not just serving its community members, but will soon include a section fit only for the canine family members of those who frequent the park.
According to Todd Shaffer, Austintown Township Park supervisor, a large group of people walk their dogs in the park every day and they have been requesting a canine play space for some time.
Sharing that he started inquiring into what it would take to honor their requests, plans for the dog park are now well under way. Utilizing Park Department funds for the most part, Shaffer said since news broke of the dog park plans, donations have begun arriving as well.
Still in its planning phase, Shaffer said the area is something that's going to be a nice and easy way to give the dogs the exercise they need, adding that the fencing company will be out in the next few weeks to install fencing around the 300-foot-by-120-foot area, located near the number one baseball field.
Sharing that park employees will do the bulk of the installation themselves, Shaffer offered a hopeful completion date of late fall. Once the fencing is up, Shaffer said visitors are welcome to use the area and added that the additional features planned, which include an obstacle play area with tires, should be installed by late spring.
With park employees present from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and occasionally on weekend mornings, Shaffer said signage will be provided with restrictions and that that those utilizing the dog park will do so at their own risk, and be required to have control over their dog at all times.
"As dog lovers, you want something like this for your pet," said Shaffer, who has been with Austintown Township Park for 14 years and became park supervisor three years ago.
Dog walkers are "very excited about it," he said.
Additionally, Austintown Township Park is planning to host the third annual Awesometown Fest in October, and continues its 2012 Summer Concerts in the Park, held Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Upcoming performances include the River Riders on July 24, and Uptown Saturday Night, Ginny and the Jettz, the Jim Frank Combo, and Sound Bite, consecutively.