A great day for dogs!

Fid and Fifi now have a new place to play, sans leash.

Just announced by the city: The Springfield-Greene County Parks Department's new dog park, officially called Cruse Dog Park, this Saturday at 10 a.m. The six-acre park, located just south of the Walgreens at the corner of Kansas Expressway and Grand Street, will include a parking lot, a fence, and a walkway, with areas separated for larger and smaller dogs. You may also register your dog for a yearly pass for only $25.

How to get there, per the Parks Department's press release:

"Directions to site: Access to the Dog Park is from the north side of the property by heading west on Grand Street from the intersection of Kansas Expressway. A new drive has been constructed immediately west of the Walgreen’s at the same intersection."

Matt Lemmon, web editor

[Begin full press release.]

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board and the Springfield Citizens Dog Park Committee will hold a dedication ceremony for the new off-leash Cruse Dog Park at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 22, at Loren Park, 2100 W. Catalpa St.

Phase I improvements at the 12-acre site include a six-acre off-leash park; 1.5-acre fenced area for small dogs 18” in height or under (measured from the shoulder) and a 4.5-acre area for larger dogs. The park also features parking to accommodate 30 vehicles; sidewalks; human and canine drinking fountains; canine-friendly vegetation, including “green feature” bio-swales that intercept and remove nutrients from water runoff to protect the water quality of Jordan Creek; five-foot high vinyl-covered fence around the six-acres; and commemorative brick pavers and benches.

Park Board staff will be on site both from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22 and 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 23, registering dogs for use of the facility. A fee of $25 per dog is required for 12 months of access to the Park, with a two dog limit per handler. Proof of vaccinations from a licensed veterinarian for Rabies, Parvo, Distemper, and Bordetella are required for the registration process. Applications also are available by visiting the Park Board Office, 1923 N. Weller, or by calling (417) 864-1049 during normal business hours.

Registered dog handlers will receive an access “fob”, which is a small security hardware device with a built-in authentication code unique to each user. When waved in front of the access panel, the gate becomes deactivated, allowing entrance. The fobs are non-transferable and will allow unlimited usage of the off-leash area from dawn until dusk, seven days a week, weather and conditions permitting.

Daily passes are available for $10 per dog, per day, with a $10 fob deposit at both Chesterfield Family Center, 2511 W. Republic Road, and the Park Board Office during normal business hours.

A full list of Rules and Regulations, along with a sample application, is available by visiting www.parkboard.org <http://www.parkboard.org> . The materials are available at the Park Board Office, and a 24-hour Dog Park Hotline has also been established at (417) 864-1404.

Phase I construction costs are $298,973. The Park Board secured a Recreational Trail Program grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in the amount of $99,920 to be applied toward construction of the Trailhead parking lot. The Citizens Dog Park Committee was largely responsible for securing $186,000, of which the Cruse Family Trust provided approximately $135,000, with the remaining funds raised from the annual Dog Fest, Dog Swim, and Bark in the Park events and other miscellaneous contributions.

Efforts are still underway to raise funds for future development, which include permanent restrooms and a pavilion at the site. There are a number of ways to contribute to the Phase II capital campaign, including purchasing inscribed pavers and benches. The Cruse Dog Park is maintained by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

In their continued efforts to link greenway linear park trails throughout the city and county, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and Ozark Greenways maintain an existing one-mile section of greenway from the Dog Park southwestward toward Ewing Park, with parking available at both trail ends. The master plan for this section of Jordan Creek linear park greenway trail is to extend southward to the Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park and northeast to Jordan Valley Park.

“The Cruse Dog Park has been a labor of love for the many volunteers and agencies helping along the way,” said Parks Director Jodie Adams. “We’re glad to finally be able to introduce this significant and unique property to the community. It is a park that certainly has been wanted by many for years, and fits with our Parks, Open Space & Greenways plan approved by our citizens as part of the Vision 20/20 master plan.”

Directions to site: Access to the Dog Park is from the north side of the property by heading west on Grand Street from the intersection of Kansas Expressway. A new drive has been constructed immediately west of the Walgreen’s at the same intersection.

For more information, media contact: Anne-Mary McGrath, Special Events Administrator, (417) 864-1338; or Miles Park, Superintendent of Operations, (417) 864-1326.

[End press release]

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