Grove City has finally let the dogs out.
On Sunday, Aug. 24, the city celebrated Bark at Breck, officially opening the community's new year-round, off-leash dog park at Breck Community Park, 3005 Demorest Road. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, colors and breeds turned out for the event, along with their owners.
The celebration included remarks from public officials, a ribbon cutting and vendors of canine-related services and products. Boy Scout Troop 136 washed dirty dogs for a donation, and owners let their dogs off their leashes to run and play through the designated area.
The park has been in the works for some time, Grove City Parks and Recreation Director Kim Conrad said. Construction began in August 2013, with a target completion date slated for November of that year. Weather forced delays in the project.
"This has been a long time coming," Conrad said.
Breck Community Park has four fenced-in areas where dog owners can take their pets off-leash. Two of the areas, about three acres each, are intended for dogs weighing 35 pounds or more. The other two areas, about one-and-a-half acres, are for dogs under 35 pounds.
When dogs are not in the enclosed areas, they are to be kept on leashes.
The park also includes a shelter area.
"The dog park concept is for people to bring their dogs so they can socialize," Conrad said. "It's as much for people as it is for dogs."
Conrad said a dog park has been long demanded by residents; it was even included in the 2011 Community Plan.
"All the work that has been put in this park goes back 12 or 14 years," Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said. "Part of being a full-service community is having a dog park, and we've got one of the best."
State Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R- Grove City), former mayor of Grove City, said it is a real pleasure to see the park come to fruition.
"We are dog lovers in our family," she said. "We're glad we have a new place to bring ours."
Rules are posted at the park. To enter the enclosed off-leash area, people need to be at least 18 years old or be accompanied by an adult. Children age 12 and under are not permitted to enter.
Conrad said there are no breed restrictions on dogs, but it is important that they are healthy, able to get along with other dogs and people, and have been spayed or neutered.
"It's on the honor system," she said.
For more information, call the Grove City Parks and Recreation Department at 614-277-3050.