Princeton dog park is up and ready for spring 2024 opening

Park’s name will be revealed at a later date

The groundwork has been laid for the opening of a new dog park in Princeton in spring 2024 at Zearing Park.

Soon Princeton’s four-legged friends will have a park of their own.

The Princeton Park District Dog Park is expected to open in spring 2024. The turf has been put down and the fence has been erected, the park district said.

“We need to let the sod get restabilized, regenerated, established and ready for use,” the park district said in a news release. “The turf must remain undisturbed to allow for healthy, initial growth process.”

Park Superintendent Nathan Cook and his team jumped right into the project the Monday after Homestead Festival. There were water lines to run and much ground work to coordinate and complete. Princeton City Manager Theresa Wittenauer assisted the park district in its effort.

“This is community working together,” said Tammy Lange, executive director of the park district.

Jeanne Hutchinson has been a lifelong lover of dogs. She believed the addition of a dog park would be a valuable asset for the community, Lange said. Hutchinson donated funds to the Princeton Park District to make this happen.

Lange said the park district was excited to receive Hutchinson’s call about a year ago and set up the meetings to discuss this possibility. After several meetings and discussions with Hutchinson through her daughter and son-in-law, Mike and Jan English, a one acre park with an area for small and large dogs inside of the large fenced area has come to fruition.

The location will be on the far, east side at Zearing Park, near the prairie grass. This area will be away from residences and will be able to be accessed using the east end of the gravel parking lot or walking onto the path from the Thompson Street access.

The Princeton Park District Foundation has donated two trees and two benches for inside the dog park area. Prairie Nursery & Landscape (Josh Schnaiter) also has committed to the donation of two trees.

“We are thankful and blessed to have this wonderful addition coming to our park,” Lange said. “The announcement of the name of the dog park will be revealed at a later date.”

The Princeton Park District Board gave its blessing to move forward at the February board meeting. Future plans will include the opportunity for community members and businesses to sponsor added amenities.

“We want to see how the park is used and enhance that use,” Lange said.

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