The lot between 38th and 40th streets in southwest Minneapolis was once considered an unusable site. Over the past couple of weeks, it's been transformed into a playground for pooches.
According to the District 6 Minneapolis Park Commissioner Brad Bourn, the new urban dog park is long overdue because this corner of the city has one of the highest concentrations of licensed dogs.
"Neighbors had been asking for a dog park in southwest Minneapolis for almost 20 years," noted Bourn.
Rob Withoff is one local dog owner who told FOX 9 News he is relieved he has a place to bring his three greyhounds.
"This is the first time I've been able to have all the dogs here and let them just run, run, run!" he exclaimed.
The park's circular, lot-structure is fenced in. Inside the landscaped site, an urban "green technology" covers the ground.
"It's granite aggregate, which is a byproduct of road construction. So, we use that for drainage, which is different than woodchips that tend to be a little bit dirtier," Bourn explained. "This is a much more sanitary ground covering."
Other dog owners who are accustomed to an earthier setting disagreed.
"It's really nice to go to a dog park where they have a little fountain; I mean, we've been to a dog park where they actually have a shower for the dogs," Carol McCormick told FOX 9. "I was expecting more, but for the people that live in this neighborhood, if they don't have any options other than walking their dogs on the sidewalk, this is still good."
Yet, those longing for a place to let their four-legged friends roam free are pleased the demand has been met.
"Considering where they were putting it, I think they did a nice job," smiled Pomeranian owner, Kim Cropsey.
Permits are required at any of the seven off-leash dog parks in the Minneapolis park system. For details about the off-leash parks and permits, click here: http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=851