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.