Jacobson's dog park expands, gets improvements

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comMarch 16, 2014 

Tails will be wagging come April.

Lexington's first dog park is getting a long-overdue face lift and expansion.

Jacobson Park had a dog run that was expanded in 2002 from 0.3 acres to 3 acres. But the park only has a chain-link fence, few trees and one water hydrant for its four-legged visitors.

The expansion will nearly triple the size of the park to 8 acres and divide it into two paddocks, said Chris Cooperrider, deputy director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department. The chain link fence will be removed.

Last week, fencing contractors finished installing a wood fence similar to those found in the city's other dog parks at Wellington, Coldstream and Masterson Station parks, Cooperrider said.

Also, there are plans to expand the parking area, add benches and more trees. Most of the current dog park is without tree cover.

The city set aside $75,000 for the expansion and upgrade in this year's budget. A non-profit group, Friends of the Dog Park, has raised more than $130,000 for fencing and other amenities, said Vice Mayor Linda Gorton, who helped bring together the city's various dog groups to create Friends of the Dog Park in 2000.

The city has provided the land and maintenance, Cooperrider said.

"It's a great way to do private-public partnerships," Gorton said of Lexington's dog parks. Lexington became a national model for the implementation of dog parks, largely because of the success of the public-private partnerships.

Gorton said that the work at Jacobson Park is long overdue.

"It's not very big and it has little shade," Gorton said.

Cooperrider said that although a lot depends on Lexington's fickle weather, the dog park should be re-opened by the first week of April.

"That's the goal," he said.

Beth Musgrave: (502) 875-3793. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com

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