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updated: 6/21/2014 7:36 PM

Melas Park's bark park now open

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  • Bob and Pat Waldron of Arlington Heights and their dog, Delilah, a golden doodle, visit the Canine Commons dog park at Melas Park in Mount Prospect, which is a joint effort of the Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect park districts.

       Bob and Pat Waldron of Arlington Heights and their dog, Delilah, a golden doodle, visit the Canine Commons dog park at Melas Park in Mount Prospect, which is a joint effort of the Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect park districts.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Turbo, a Weimaraner owned by Sabina Mazurczyk of Arlington Heights, lends his voice to the grand opening ceremony of Canine Commons dog park at Melas Park in Mount Prospect.

       Turbo, a Weimaraner owned by Sabina Mazurczyk of Arlington Heights, lends his voice to the grand opening ceremony of Canine Commons dog park at Melas Park in Mount Prospect.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Ross Klicker of Arlington Heights holds his bichon, KC, before the grand opening of the Canine Commons dog park at Melas Park in Mount Prospect.

       Ross Klicker of Arlington Heights holds his bichon, KC, before the grand opening of the Canine Commons dog park at Melas Park in Mount Prospect.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • The Canine Commons is a new fenced in dog park in part of Melas Park in Mount Prospect, which opened Saturday to members and their pets.

       The Canine Commons is a new fenced in dog park in part of Melas Park in Mount Prospect, which opened Saturday to members and their pets.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Dogs run in the open space of the Canine Commons dog park at Melas Park in Mount Prospect.

       Dogs run in the open space of the Canine Commons dog park at Melas Park in Mount Prospect.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

Dogs in Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect finally have their own park with Saturday mornings grand opening of Canine Commons in a portion of Melas Park.

"This is our first park that dogs will be legal in, and this is something that we've struggled with over many, many years," said Mary Fran Leno, Arlington Heights Park District board president.

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Melas Park, 1500 W. Central Road, is owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. That agency leases the land to the village of Mount Prospect, which in turn leases it to the two park districts, which shared the roughly $170,000 project cost.

"The contractors and park districts have been working all week to get this fence up, to get ready for this grand opening," John Robinson, superintendent of recreation for the Arlington Heights Park District, said Saturday just before the opening. "Everything is set to go."

Earlier in the spring, the two park districts started selling a total of 500 memberships to the dog park. They sold out in a matter of weeks.

"The folks walking up today are super excited about finally having this park open so they can release their dogs out in the dog park," Robinson said.

Canine Commons is nearly two acres in the northwest corner of the park and includes three areas -- one for large dogs, one for small/medium dogs and a third to be used when one of the other two is undergoing maintenance.

Officials will monitor the use to see if more memberships should be sold. Interested residents can add their names to a waitlist by filling out an application form at mppd.org or ahpd.org.

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