Dog park opens later

Marianne Gillespie

Chillicothe’s canine community will wait just a little longer for a park of their own.

Mainly due to flooding issues around what will be Walnut Dog Park on Riverbeach Drive, the Chillicothe Park District will not celebrate a grand opening this week as previously planned.

Park manager Kevin Yates said the park may open sometime in the next few weeks, but a grand opening is planned for late May.

Fencing should be coming this week, he said, as officials received an overwhelming response from the community to split dogs into two groups by size.

“That’s exactly what we needed to know and wanted to know,” said Yates.

With 875 feet of 5-foot-tall, vinyl-clad chainlink fence, large dogs will be able to roam an area 100 feet wide by 150 feet long; and small dogs a 75-by-100-foot area.

The property has been cleared, but the brush around the pond still needs more work.

Yates said with the water high, workers have had a harder time cleaning it up. Some tree trimming also needs to be completed.

Right now, the base is set for the parking lot, with more work to be done on its border, including adding telephone poles donated by AmerenCILCO.

The sign for the park will be up in the next couple weeks, Yates said.

This year, he said, officials will watch how often the park is used and make improvements for the next year.

If needed, water service and restrooms could be added, Yates said.

The park may expand in upcoming years if need be, as the dog park now will use only 12 acres of the 26 acres available.