Temporary dog park is popular, may stick around

By Ryan Chodora

DeKalb’s first dog park, while temporary, is raising ears amongst the park board after positive reception.

The DeKalb Park District set-up a temporary dog park in Katz Park on Dresser Road in December. This temporary dog park was designed to gauge interest, and if successful, would lead to a permanent dog park.

A permanent park would include more amenities, such as trees and water fountains.

The dog park at Katz Park was set up at a sparsely used baseball diamond. The Park District spent about $2,500 in fencing on the project. The park is designed to let residents unleash their canines in a safe, fenced-in area.

“It seems that the Katz Park dog park seems to be working very well, and if that continues to go well, then we would like to move forward with the bigger park,” said Per Faivre, the DeKalb Park Board vice president. “There’s definitely a need. Lots of people like to have their dogs off-leash.”

Phil Young, DeKalb Park Board president, said, even in winter, public use of the temporary dog park has been good.

“Our expectations are that it’s going to be very popular coming into spring, summer and fall,” Young said. “We’ve had a lot of people contact us saying it was a great thing to have.”

Young said the financial risk is relatively small, being that the fencing can be recycled if the park fails to keep public interest.

“I’m pleased to see the park district focus on such needs and providing resources,” said Mayor John Rey. “I think it raises the quality of life that’s available for citizens in the community.”

Young said there are locations that can accommodate a permanent park, and continued positive reception is paramount in order to move forward.

“As it stands, we’ll just sort of wait and see,” Young said. “But I again think that we’ll probably put something in a permanent place based on the reviews we’ve had so far.”