Fur real: Lorain County Metro Parks launch Oberlin play area for dogs


By Valerie Urbanik - vurbanik@civitasmedia.com



<p style="text-align: right;">Valerie Urbanik | Civitas Media <p style="text-align: left;">A one-acre Lorain County Metro Parks dog park has officially opened in Oberlin.

Valerie Urbanik | Civitas Media

A one-acre Lorain County Metro Parks dog park has officially opened in Oberlin.


A one-acre dog park is officially open next to the Lorain County Metro Parks’ Splash Zone on West Hamilton Street, Oberlin.

The county park system spent roughly $60,000 to create its first recreation area for dogs, according to director James Ziemnik.

A dog park has been oft-requested, he said: “It’s always been asked from our customers.”

Ziemnik partnered with WOBL/WKLW radio, Partners With Paws of Lorain County president Lorie Wilber, and Oberlin officials in making the park possible behind the Splash Zone’s parking lot.

“What we want to do is encourage responsible pet owners,” Ziemnik said.

Anyone interested in using the dog park will have to buy a $10 annual tag for their pet at the Carlisle Visitors Center or Splash Zone.

All pets must be spayed or neutered, up-to-date on their vaccinations, and possess a county dog license. People using the park must check in at Carlisle or Splash Zone before entering.

Ziemnik said the fee will help pay for the investment. He has found parks with a fee have more success and more responsible pet owners.

Wilber brought the idea to Ziemnik’s attention and Oberlin manager Eric Norenberg was eager to bring the park to town, the Metro Parks director said.

“Oberlin is a very dog-friendly city,” Ziemnik said. “It’s truly something we’re excited about.”

He said he is pleased with the outcome of the park and is eager for residents to start using it. He hopes dog owners will provide the parks with feedback.

The park is divided into sections for large and small dogs, has a canopy for a shaded area, and a water fountain for dogs and pet owners.

Ziemnik knows the park isn’t large but believes it’ll be easier to maintain and oversee. “It was just a good fit,” he said. “It’s easily accessible.”

The director said success in Oberlin could lead to the creation of more dog parks.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.

Valerie Urbanik | Civitas Media

A one-acre Lorain County Metro Parks dog park has officially opened in Oberlin.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2015/11/web1_IMG_8793.jpg

Valerie Urbanik | Civitas Media

A one-acre Lorain County Metro Parks dog park has officially opened in Oberlin.

By Valerie Urbanik

vurbanik@civitasmedia.com