Man's best friends are getting a refurbished place to play in Glen Ellyn after their masters successfully petitioned the park district for an updated dog park.
The existing park outside the Spring Avenue Recreation Center, near Spring Avenue and Route 53, is fenced on only three sides. More than 100 neighbors and users of the park signed a petition asking for the space to be completely enclosed -- a recommendation endorsed last week by the park district board.
Executive Director Dave Harris said enclosing the space will mean a safer environment for users of the dog park -- as well as other visitors to the Spring Avenue building.
When the park district took over operation of the facility and nearby dog park from the DuPage County Forest Preserve District in 1997, the Park District Risk Management Association suggested the site not be fully enclosed because dogs could become more territorial and aggressive.
Since then, other park districts that are members of PDRMA have opened dog parks that are fully enclosed, Harris said.
The park district will install an entrance gate and exit gate with a split-rail fence dividing the two on the northern side of the park. That work could be complete as early as January, if the weather remains mild.
In the spring, the district plans to install a swipe card system, providing access to the park to users who have paid a fee. The rate is $25 for residents and $175 for others.
In 2011, 390 dog park passes were sold.
Officials say fencing the area and installing a swipe card system could allow for better control of the space since only permitted users would have access. There's also a potential for increased user fee revenue for the park district.
The total cost for renovations to the park is $12,350.