HAZEL PARK — The city of Hazel Park is currently in the fundraising phase for a quality-of-life initiative that should please dog owners and their pets, alike.
The goal is to set aside part of Karam Park and turn it into the city’s first dog park. Karam Park is located on Couzens next to the Hazel Park Department of Public Works, between Woodward Heights and 10 Mile.
Located in the south end of Karam Park, the dog park will be split into two fenced-in areas — one for small dogs and one for large dogs. The park will also have its own parking area, coming off of Couzens, so people won’t need to use the side streets.
Users will have to pass through two gates, opening only one at a time to avoid any dogs escaping from the park. There will be doggy-bag dispensers and waste receptacles, as well as benches and watering areas. The trees provide natural shade.
Once the money is lined up, development can begin. The plan is to have the park open sometime in 2014.
“We’re trying to look for sponsors right now, securing donations,” said Hazel Park Assistant City Manager Sharon Pinch. “We have estimated costs on parts like the fence and the benches, but it varies, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much. But all sponsors and donations are welcome, and our books will be open to everyone, so people can see what we’ve brought in and where it went.”
A contest at the local elementary schools asked students to color a picture and come up with a name for the new dog park. Several finalists were selected, and then a winner was determined during Hazel Park’s Memorial Weekend.
The winner was Nicholas Wojciechowski, who came up with ‘K-9 Square’.
“We’ve gotten nothing but good feedback on the dog park, which is nice,” Pinch said. “The community is involved, and it’s appreciated.
“I think it will be great,” she added, noting she has an English bulldog named Lucy. “You could be out for a walk and may want to take a rest, so you take your dog there. It’s secure, and everyone has to be up to date on shots, so no worries. Your dogs can socialize with other dogs, and it’s a chance for you to meet other people in your community — to get to know your neighbors.”
Ed Klobucher, Hazel Park’s city manager and an owner of two dogs, himself, agreed it’s a great way to spend time with the community.
“I’m really glad our employees have taken on the responsibilities to make this happen,” Klobucher said. “I think this will be a great resource for our residents that have dogs. Dog parks have been very successful in other communities, so we look forward to our Hazel Park residents being able to have the same level of satisfaction and fun with their pets.”
For more information, or to donate to the dog park, contact the Hazel Park Department of Public Works at (248) 542-0340.