We are simply over the moon! We have finally been given the green light to start the dog park buildout. It will be built in phases, which will allow us to start shortly. That means the doggos will soon be able to run free in their own corner of Horner Park!
Here is the official announcement from Alderman Mell’s office:
“I am happy to announce that after years of planning, the Chicago Park District in conjunction with the Horner Park Advisory Council and my office will open Phase I of the Horner Park Dog Friendly Area in the coming months.
I am so proud to have played a role in helping bring this community driven project one step closer to becoming a reality and I am privileged to have such a thoughtful group of community leaders to lead the charge and help usher in this latest amenity to our beautiful parks.
This first phase will be a fenced, ¾ acre dog-friendly area on Horner Park’s Southwest side that provides a place for dog owners to allow their pets off-leash while fundraising continues to complete the planned improvements.
This process has been a community driven effort from the very beginning. In 2012, the Horner Park Advisory Council (HPAC) formed a Dog Friendly Area Committee (DFAC) to address the need for a place for dog-owners to safely let their pets off-leash. The DFAC conducted a number of community meetings to discuss the project, complete usage surveys of selected area and petition the neighborhood surrounding the project area. Through Horner DFAC’s efforts, they gathered support from Horner Park Supervisors, my office, Alderman Pawar and collected over 700 signatures.
People from across our community have stepped up to help raise funds and generate awareness. Hundreds of residents and local businesses made generous monetary and in-kind donations through fundraising events hosted by the Horner DFAC. To date, over $126,000 has been raised ($30,000 of which came from our ward’s Menu Fund) for a project estimated to cost upwards of $250,000. This full project includes a water feature, tunnels, ornamental trees and natural grass dog runs.
Phase 1 fencing should be installed in the coming months. I would like to thank all volunteers and donors to the Horner DFA. And I would like to especially thank the leadership of the Horner Park Advisory Council for all her efforts in making this project a reality. This Dog Friendly Area is long overdue and has only been realized with the community’s continued support.
I urge all residents to pay close attention to all posted restrictions and rules governing this DFA. There may be brief restrictions in place as a result of inclement weather. It is critical that we ensure that the grounds are well maintained in anticipation of future phases.”
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