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Paws need a helping hand: Dixon dog park back on board’s agenda

January 16, 2018

DIXON – Park 4 Paws remains open for now, but the Park District still is looking for a dedicated volunteer base to take charge of it.

The dog park, off of Cinder Road in Meadows Park, faced possible closure at the end of 2017 because of concerns with maintenance costs, users not cleaning up after their dogs, and the lack of people registering and paying the required fee.

A few community members have contacted the district with an interest in doing volunteer work to keep it open, but no one has yet to step up to organize and lead a volunteer group, District Executive Director Deb Carey said Monday.

Board member Rodney Frey suggested last month that they move it to Page Park, between the shelter and the stone road bridge over the former lagoon, to get more traffic and cut down on maintenance.

Carey said they’ve received mixed responses on the possible move, but the majority are against it.

Flooding could be an issue, and there’s not much room to put anything new in Page Park, she said.

“The park is just too small for everything that happens there,” she said.

The board plans to discuss the fate of the dog park at its meeting Wednesday.

The district charges a $10 annual fee for in-district families with up to three dogs, and $15 for out-of-district users.

Until a final decision is made on the park – move it, close it or make changes like installing an electronic gate – those registered in 2017 can continue to use the park this year.

The park was opened about 12 years ago by a group of dedicated dog lovers and volunteers but fizzled out over the years, and it was on the district’s chopping block in 2011 because of the maintenance costs and lack of volunteers.

Those wanting to keep the park going approached the board in 2011 agreeing to volunteer or pay a $50 annual fee, and registration was required until 2013 when the district opened the park up to the public.

The district brought back registration requirements in 2016, and community members had to present their dogs’ vaccination records for rabies, distemper, parvo and Bordetella before receiving a lanyard as proof of registration.