A new park recently opened in Crosslake, but this park caters to a different, hairier group of patrons.
The Crosslakers Dog Park opened on the western edge of the Crosslake Community Center’s property at the end of May.
“This is just one of t projects voted on by residents a few years ago and deemed something that would be a good visit for people who visit in the summer and bring their dogs,” Crosslakers Dog Park committee volunteer Pam Graves said. “Especially for people at places like the campground - where dogs have to be on a leash at all times - now there is a place where they can have their dogs off-leash and let them play.”
The roughly one-acre park has two parts. The smaller portion caters to older and more shy dogs, while the larger part gives energetic dogs room to run without a leash and socialize with their fellow active canines.
“Having separate portions where you won’t be run over by a golden retriever eager to meet a new friend really helps for people,” Graves said.
Despite being on city property, the park was completely thanks entirely to donations from businesses, foundations and private citizens.
The park’s official opening was marked with a special event on its first day. Roughly 40 people, including Mayor Dave Nevin and members of the city council, were in attendance, along with nearly two dozen dogs.
Since that day, the park has seen consistent use.
“I love it because our dog loves it,” Graves said. “Our dog is very well-behaved, but if he sees a chipmunk or something, he may get distracted. This way, we know he’s inside the area, and he has three-quarters of an acre to run around and play with other dogs. For me, it’s perfect.”
The interior of the park has rounded corners, which keeps pooches from being in a situation where they feel cornered.
Through fundraising, the committee plans to add new features to the park - including a water source and nearby walking path - to allow residents and visitors the chance to make the most of the area.
“It adds another amenity to the Crosslake area that people can enjoy,” Graves’ husband, Peter, said. “The dog park simply gives a broader experience to people who own dogs.”
Though the park is still a new and relatively unknown feature of Crosslake, Graves hopes word of mouth will draw new people and their dogs to the park on a regular basis.
“Ideally, it would be used daily by people who come to appreciate the feature,” Graves said. “You can get to it while you are picking up a book at the library or anything like that. It’s just a convenient location close to where you are visiting.”
The park is open daily from dawn until dusk. All obedient dogs up to date on vaccinations are welcome.
The Crosslakers are seeking feedback on potential additions to the park. Input can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.