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Newark considers designating its first-ever dog park

NEWARK, OH (WCMH) - Many folks take their neighborhood dog parks for granted, but some communities are still waiting for a park to be built just for dog lovers.

The city of Newark could be the next community to make a dog-specific area in an existing park.

They are a great place to socialize and hang out with other animal lovers, Everyone in Licking County that NBC4 spoke with said the idea is very popular throughout the community.

"It would be awesome. There are very few places around here. There is a place at Infirmary Park, I just heard about it. And I think there is a place in Granville, (Wildwood Dog Park) so this is close to home, so that would be great," said Barry Lugenbeal, who said he walks his dog Rex twice a day during nice weather.

Everett Park sits along the North Fork Licking River and has been there for decades.  According to Steve Baum, Newark Director of Public Safety, the Newark City School District donated the land to the city. They, along with private groups are re-establishing the park as a multiuse park, including baseball fields, community gardens, skate park and the civil air patrol.

"As far as the dog park goes it is a very popular idea with the citizens, there is a lot of excitement about it," Baum said.

"It is nice to see them thinking about some dogs and owners, it would be great. Not much has been done with the east end of Newark," said Lugenbeal.

Amelia Gearheart said she travels from Columbus to OSU Newark with her two-year-old dog Casey. She just discovered Infirmary Mound Park, which is part of the Licking Park District, just outside Granville. She said a dog park in the Newark area is long overdue.

"It is really important. My yard is not that big, so I take my dog to the dog park she likes to run," said Gearheart.

Owners need to be aware that dogs will have to be licensed, those designated dangerous or vicious are not allowed in and the area will be policed by the Newark Animal Control Officer.

Monday evening a Newark Safety Committee will discuss the park at a 5:30 meeting and could pass it along to City Council for a vote at their 7pm meeting.


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