Sandwich Park District officials target spring 2023 opening for dog park

Sandwich Park District officials are moving ahead with plans to open a dog park at the northeast corner of Fairwind Boulevard and West Pleasant Avenue.

Park District Executive Director Bill Novicki said district officials are looking to open the park next spring.

Novicki said they are currently going through the planning and permitting stages for the park with the city. If everything goes well, they hope to seeks bids by the end of the month and award a contract in September with construction soon to follow.

The park site is comprised of roughly two acres of grass field and mostly bare of trees.

Novicki said the park district has owned the lot for quite a while, and has been planning a dog park since a public survey in 2013 showed strong community desire for it.

The park will be surrounded by chain link fence, with a section fenced off for small dogs and training. There will be an ADA accessible, double-gated entrance and an ADA water fountain for people and dogs.

Novicki said there are plans for a water feature, and a memorial area honoring local pets who have passed. They are also expanding their memorial tree program to the park, so people can donate a tree in memory of a loved one or pet.

They are hoping to add more features like activity areas and agility training equipment through sponsorship opportunities and local donations.

Novicki said officials are still in discussion on how access and registration will be handled, but there will likely be an annual registration required to assure that all canine guests have proper shots and vaccines, along with a minimal fee.

“It’s not something we’re looking to make money off,” Novicki said. “It’s making sure the people and dogs there are safe.”