Dog park final plan approved

By Gary Scott on March 15, 2016 at 1:46pm

Jacksonville aldermen passed a resolution on Monday for the final version of a master plan for the city’s upcoming dog park.

The city won a $100,000 grant last summer to build the park, with city-owned property near Nichols Park chosen for the site.

The plan for the dog park was shown in six phases. City officials have previously indicated additions to the dog park can be made as money is fundraised.

The first phase would include an Americans With Disabilities Act-accessible pathway, parking area, entry gate, sponsorship area and access gate to Lake Mauvaisterre. The second phase would include a boardwalk, pavilions, and agility equipment. Phase 3 would put in a multi-use trial and lake access points.

The final three phases would then add splash pads, boardwalk side trails, a crosswalk and multi-use path connecting to Nichols Park.

Student engineers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign presented two plans earlier this year, and combined them, according to U of I Professor Lara Browning, who is working with the student group. She says aspects of both plans were incorporated into the final plan.

“We took the idea of kind of having a more manicured contemporary frontage along the street side from Concept A, and the original preliminary designs, moving towards a more naturalistic- prairie landscape, and more natural features, and amenities towards the lakeside, and then, we kept the layout from concept B, which is again more contemporary, has a lot more features, has a sponsorship area, has splash pads, agility features, and incorporated that all in,” Browning says.

“In the same time, thinking about ADA accessibility, and how you can make the park accessible to all users, and then people who don’t want to use the dog park, who may want to observe from the outside, and do long-term planning on how you connect to other potential trail systems,” she adds.

Aldermen Marcy Patterson and Bill Scott offered praise for the final plan.

The next step is to secure a portion of the prize money still being held by PetSafe to pay for the initial stages of the plan.

View a photo album of the plan here.