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To answer demand, phase two of the master plan for the county’s Whitetail Woods Regional Park, which opens next month, includes another dog park.
While still a couple of years out, Pata said the approximately 20-acre park will sit to the west of the current off-leash area. They are planning a separate small dog area, as well as spaces for training hunting dogs and a small area with risers for dog agility demonstrations. There also may be a rental facility for events like dog birthday parties.
“Pets are really becoming part of people’s family units,” said Pata. “There could be some really fun features like that.”
According to Shakopee’s director of Parks and Recreation Jamie Polley, the search for a dog park location began in 2005.
Construction for the city’s first off-leash area, part of the larger Southbridge Community Park, started in June, and while delayed about a month because of spring rains, sections should open early in September. The official grand opening is October 23.
The dog park will be about ten acres, with a quarter acre area designated for small breeds. In the main area, about a half mile of trails loop through one of the only stands of oak savanna in the city.
Savage opened its first dog park three years ago, downtown, on the north end of the city. City Administrator Barry Stock says its popularity made officials want to open one on the south side.
However, “we didn’t really have any land we could free up,” he said, adding that the remaining land in the area was either wetlands or developed.
So the city approached Three Rivers Park District about using part of its Murphy-Hanrehan Park, and developed a partnership. The city will foot the bill for paving a portion of Murphy Lake Road and the trailhead parking area. Themig said construction, also behind due to the wet spring, should be completed in late September or early October but could be sooner.
Liz Rolfsmeier is a Twin Cities freelance journalist.