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posted: 9/4/2012 9:04 AM

New dog park to open in Hoffman Estates

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Submitted by Hoffman Estates Park District

Four-legged friends will have a new green space to run free from their leashes.

The Hoffman Estates Park District approved the name Freedom Run at its board meeting Tuesday, June 26, for the four-acre off-leash dog run. The park will be dedicated to military service dogs and their owners who have served in military conflicts throughout U.S. history.

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"There are so many military service dogs that deserve recognition that we decided to name the park for all of them," said Mike Kies, director of facilities for the Hoffman Estates Park District.

Plaques will be displayed along the walkway in the park that showcase dogs from each branch of the military.

Freedom Run is a collaboration between three municipalities -- the city of Elgin and the Streamwood and Hoffman Estates park districts. Residents of all three towns will have the chance to purchase memberships at Freedom Run at the resident rate with proof of residency and immunization records.

Nonresidents may also purchase memberships. All rules, regulations and fees are listed at heparks.org.

A dedication and grand opening ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 8. Dogs are invited to attend with their handlers, with proof of membership and current immunizations.

"We're excited about this project," said Dean Bostrom, executive director for the Hoffman Estates Park District. "Dog runs are a way to reach out to another segment of our community. The park gives people with a common interest a safe place where they can meet and enjoy the outdoors with their dogs."

In another show of community organizations working together, a local Boy Scout is working on a project to provide agility equipment for the park. Christopher Umeki of Boy Scout Troop No. 461 presented his project proposal to the Hoffman Estates Park District Board of Commissioners earlier this year.

He designed the equipment, is currently seeking donations of materials and money to build it, and will work with his fellow Scouts to build the equipment. He estimated the cost of the equipment at $600, and the Friends of the Hoffman Estates Parks Foundation has agreed to match the funds Umeki raises, up to $300.

Anyone who is interested in donating materials or money for the project should contact Peg Kusmierski at (847) 310-3617 or pkusmierski@heparks.org.

For more details on Freedom Run, visit heparks.org.

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