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posted: 8/30/2013 9:34 AM

Dog agility playground set to open in Waukegan

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Waukegan Park District submission

The public and their canine friends are invited to join the Waukegan Park District for the grand opening of the Justin and Alicia Mentell Dog Agility Playground, located in the Callahan-Franklin Dog Exercise Area at the Larsen Nature Preserve, 1720 Western Ave., at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.

Come try out the new agility course and equipment, socialize, and meet new friends while celebrating the newest additions to this unique park. Enjoy several canine program demonstrations and pick up a grand opening T-shirt, available to the first 150 people, and a dog bandanna, provided to the first 100 dogs.

On-site will be food vendor Fast Eddie's Hot Dogs, and Pet Supplies Plus will provide information and a gift bag for the first 200 owners with a dog.

Dogs are required by Waukegan ordinance to be leashed until released in the dog exercise area and must be leashed during the dedication and demonstration portions of this event. Aggressive dogs are not permitted and dogs must be under their owner's voice control in the dog exercise area.

The new dog playground is located in the southeast corner of the current dog exercise area and consists of an agility course with 14 stations: agility walk, 16-inch wait table, hound hurdles, 18-inch jump bar, dog walk, hound hoops, weave poles, a-frame, teeter-totter, adjustable tire jump, wall jumps, and s-tunnel.

Each agility station is constructed of heavy aluminum pipes and planks that are 38 inches wide for safety. All walking surfaces are coated with PawsGrip and all hardware is stainless steel and vandal-resistant.

Currently, the Callahan-Franklin Dog Exercise Area offers an off-leash play area in a park setting. Amenities at the Callahan-Franklin Dog Exercise Area include separate play areas for small and large dogs, parking, benches, picnic table, shade, fencing, waste containers and bags and a dog drinking fountain.

Thanks to sponsors who helped with funding to purchase playground equipment -- Alicia Mentell, James Herring, Waukegan Fire Fighters Local 473, Waukegan Animals Getting Saved, Coca Cola, and K9 Trace and Pace participants.

For more information about the grand opening, call (847) 360-4700.