By Grace Lieberman / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ
Apache Junction dog owners will have a new spot to take their pups with the opening of the Dutchman Dog Park on the County's Apache Junction Complex.
The park was created as a collaboration between Pinal County and the City of Apache Junction.
Apache Junction Parks & Recreation Director Liz Langenbach said that a dog park has been the city’s most requested facility for at least the last five years.
Pinal County District 5 Supervisor Jeff Serdy said the park has been in the works for the last 20 years. He said a key issue for developing the park was a lack of water, but they were able to secure a location in a retention basin. Serdy said it’s ironic because now “there may be too much water,” but the park is designed to accommodate that.
“Retention basins are such a good use of space, and this is a perfect use of space here for this dog park,” Serdy said.
The park has been designed so all pups can play comfortably. The area has been split in two for an active and passive section. Playful, large dogs can go to the active area for high energy fun while smaller or more timid dogs looking for a relaxing experience can head to the passive area.
Langenbach said that dog owners who are new to the park experience or aren’t sure what section is right for their pup have options too. Owners who aren’t sure about their dog coming to the park should try first walking them along the outside of the park on a leash to see their reaction to the excitement.
The park also has a separate reservable area where, for $8 an hour, individuals can bring their dog or a group to play on their own.
Whether you know your dog isn’t ready for playing with a large group, or perhaps you want to host a birthday party for your pet, the special section can be rented out like any other rental through the Parks & Recreation office.
The park will be open from 6 am to 10 pm every day, so owners that work late or want a chance for their dog to get some exercise out of the sweltering summer afternoons in Arizona have options too.
Serdy said that this project, and others like the city’s new art commission, are made possible through the city’s impact tax. He said that with community building projects like these, “it makes people proud of where they live.”
The park’s full address is 247 East Superstition Blvd, Apache Junction, 85119.