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Dog park open house showed support, some concerns for dog park

The City of Hastings hosted an open house Tuesday evening to discuss plans for a public off-leash dog park in the city. The meeting was an informal one designed to get residents talking with each other and generating ideas.

Current plans call for a dog park located just north of East 10th Street across from the current Hudson Manufacturing building. The site is a piece of land recently donated to the city by Intek Plastics which is edged by an existing paved walking path.

The Hastings Parks and Recreation Department is looking to install a paved parking lot and a five-foot-high fence around the property. The fence would be about 25 to 35 feet inside the existing trail, so trail users could still enjoy the path without having to interact with dogs in the park, said Parks and Recreation Director Chris Jenkins.

Other features may be possible, and what exactly those will be are what Jenkins is hoping the public can help determine. Water stations are likely, as is a separate area for small or timid dogs. Possibilities for later development could include a picnic shelter and/or lighting, if that’s what the public wants.

Those attending the open house expressed some support and concerns about the project. For one resident, the location was not ideal. He recommended moving the park to a vacant piece of land near the industrial park, where it wouldn’t be along a major thoroughfare. Others loved the location.

Another resident approved of the plans presented but suggested the park not allow toys to avoid situations where dogs could get possessive and become unsafe.

Jenkins said that the park is expected to be completed this year, but plans haven’t been set in stone yet. He encouraged residents to contact him or the parks department to submit their ideas and feedback.

Jenkins can be reached by email at cjenkins@hastings or by phone at 651-480-6176.