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Dog park plans spring opening

January 2, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Paws Town at Boardman Park is roughly six months from becoming reality. Boardman Park Executive Director Dan Slagle said it should happen this spring.

"Our main hold-up was getting the 10,000 cubic yards of fill we needed," Slagle said. "It's in, was graded and the grass is growing."

He said the fill came from several area construction projects at no cost. While the donation was welcomed, it still took a long time to get it properly graded so the topsoil could be placed and seeded. That part is completed and by spring it will be ready for the actual construction.

"Once work begins, it should only take three weeks," Slagle said.

The construction will include running electric lines for lighting and running water lines for a dog-wash station and drinking fountains for two- and four-legged visitors.

The fencing will be a large part of the project as well. Two sections will be fenced in. One will be for small dogs and one for large dogs. Both will have a double gate where a owner and dog can enter the first gate, close it, then enter a second gate without allowing for another dog to escape the fenced area.

Slagle said the new Paws Town will be by membership only. To get a membership requires having the dog's proof of vaccinations to ensure the dog is healthy.

"We decided on a membership because we found in other dog parks, members have a sense of ownership and will self-police the behavior of other owners. Self-policing can be a benefit," Slagle said.

Paws Town Inc., a group of citizens and local leaders, has funded the new dog park and is looking into putting up security cameras as well.

Slagle said the Boardman dog park is not alone in Ohio. He said in 2013 there are a dozen more going up, eight of which are in the Columbus area alone.

In 2011, Slagle attended the Ohio Parks and Recreation Convention where one of the topics was what the most popular trends were. The number one trend for parks was an adult playground, which is an exercise area placed next to a children's park where adults can work out while their children play. The number two item in popularity were dog parks.



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