Dog park set to open this spring

Pictured is an aerial shot of the new dog park in Waterloo. (Curt Simshauser photo)

Dogs can soon rejoice, as the sidewalk won’t have to be their only option for exercise for too much longer in Waterloo.

The dog park in Lakeview Park won’t be officially opened until Spring 2016, but it is nearing its completion.

“We just want to get the grass to grow before we open it up around the pavilions,” park district board member Shelby Mathes said. “So, I’m waiting for spring probably to officially dedicate. I’m sure people will use it once we get the fences up, too.”

But when that grass finally grows and the fence is installed, dogs will be able to have a place for themselves and their owners to enjoy. Man’s four-legged companions will also be able to stretch their legs without a leash.

“The paths, pavilions and water bowls are installed,” Mathes said. “But the water will not be turned on until the spring because of freezing. The gates should be up later this week.

Everything is really done, but we have everything seeded. The fences still have to be installed, three of them. But, I’d rather get some grass so people don’t mop through the mud and get it over the pavilion.”

In a perfect world, dogs would be able to use the bathroom like the cat named Mr. Jinx in the movie “Meet the Parents.” But since this is the real world, the real world is their toilet.

“One big thing that will get it shut down is if people don’t pick up after their dogs,” Mathes said. “Too much of that, I’m not going to expect our employees to go out there and get (feces) smeared all over them while they’re weed-eating by the fences.”

Although initial costs for the park totaled $35,000, the real cost was closer to $45,000. The park wasn’t going to be built until an anonymous donation kept the project alive.

Mathes said the park is paid for, but they are always looking for new donations. He added that they would like to eventually add exercise equipment for pets and their owners to enjoy.

When it does open, it will be open from dawn until dusk.

For more information on the park, Mathes can be reached at 618-570-9734.

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