It was truly the dog days of summer in Dearborn over the weekend as the community celebrated the grand opening of the new dog park behind the Henry Ford Centennial Library.
The project came together thanks to a host of community sponsors and volunteers, all who joined in with city officials, sponsors, community members and dozens of barking dogs Aug. 19 at the ribbon cutting event.
earborn resident Olivia Andrade poses with her three-year-old mix Mister at the grand opening of the Dearborn dog park. Photo by Jessica Strachan.Mayor Jack O’Reilly, Jr. said the dog park is strategically located near all the city facilities.
“It’s a great central place to have a dog park,” he says. “We really put a lot into this to make sure it’s right.”
The lush dog oasis is divided into two areas: one for larger animals and one for dogs under 30 pounds. Each area is enclosed with a fence and equipped with benches, dog waste bags and disposal stations, water stations and dog agility equipment, including adjustable jump bars, elevated agility walk platforms, ramps, hurdles, teeter totters and barrels.
The playground was made possible by a $15,000 donation from the Oakwood Group -- a Dearborn-based company founded in 1945.
Sponsors and volunteers at the event talked about the facility being a place where community members can come together, share their love of animals and enjoy the “Cedar Point” for dogs and another “shining jewel” in the crown of a community that Dearborn is.
Resident Olivia Andrade was one of the attendees at the grand opening, with her three-year-old dog Mister. She said she was excited to meet other doggy moms and dads and have a place for her pup to run and play.
“He’s very active,” she says. “I’m excited to finally have somewhere to take him and be around other dogs.”
Christie Morgan, a resident of six years, was also glad to have somewhere to bring her eight-year-old Lab Caly.
“We raised our dog in Tennessee where there was a huge dog park and she just thrived,” Morgan says. “It’s great to have a place to let her be run and let her be her.”
Morgan said it was also nice to have a place to socialize with her one-year-old son.
“It helps me feel like I have people with things in common,” she says.
O’Reilly says there are plans to have dog training and other community events at the dog park in coming months.
“This is for all of us,” he adds. “This is a community always looking out and addressing the needs of our community.”
The dog park season will run from April to November of each year. Dogs must be registered with the city of Dearborn. For more information, visit www.cityofdearborn.org.