DYER | Louie, Charlie and all the other dogs came to play Saturday afternoon.
And play they did, thanks to the grand opening of the long-awaited Dyer Dog Park in Central Park along Calumet Avenue.
Parks Director Mark Heintz, Park Board and Town Council officials and members of the Dyer Dog Park Committee celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by the opening of the park to member dogs and their owners.
The dog park, which was years in the making, is on 3 acres, fenced and accessible via a keycard system. its construction was truly a team effort, said Julie Przybyla, who co-chairs the Dog Park Committee along with Debbie Gaines.
“We are very excited,” she said. “Redevelopment (Commission) and the Park Board stepped up and made it happen.”
The Dog Park Committee raised donations for the park, but the redevelopment panel and the Park Board provided money for infrastructure, like the fencing and water access.
“It’s a new (attraction) for the community, and anything new for the community is good,” said Mike Kapitan, Park Board president.
Both residents and nonresidents can access the park by buying a one-year membership. Membership is $108 for nonresidents, $60 for Dyer residents.
Dogs must also have had their shots and abide by park rules. One side is exclusively for dogs 60 pounds or less, the other side is for larger dogs.
Thanks to the generosity of benefactors and volunteers, the park already has tree plantings and benches.
Stephen Fantin, of Dyer, brought his 6-and-a-half-month-old German shepherd Louie to the park to run off some energy and make some new friends.
Fantin and Louie have already been to Highland’s dog park and are looking forward to enjoying the dog park closer to home. “Social is good (for Louie),” said Fantin, and such a large open space provides a good excuse for him to run and play.
The Dyer Dog Park’s entrance is south of 213th Street, and can be reached via the park road on the east side of Calumet. Parking is free. The park can only be accessed by a key card, which in turn can be obtained by buying a membership from the town. Users must abide by park rules, which are posted at the gate.
For more information call the parks office at (219) 865-2505 or visit the town website, at www.townofdyer.com.