A dog waste station at Delia Park reminds pet owners to pick up their dogs’ poo. The park’s dog park amenity was scheduled to open to the public July 7.

A dog waste station at Delia Park reminds pet owners to pick up their dogs’ poo. The park’s dog park amenity was scheduled to open to the public July 7.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Dog park ready to open, city says

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published July 2, 2020

 A gate surrounds an area where dogs may play and exercise.

A gate surrounds an area where dogs may play and exercise.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Every dog has its day, and at long last, they are all scheduled to have their opening day at the new dog park at Delia Park in Sterling Heights.

According to Sterling Heights Recreation Director Kyle Langlois, everything is in place to have the dog park’s opening July 7.

Although most of the Recreating Recreation initiatives were completed between 2017 and 2019, the dog park has been one of the last remaining features to open. Langlois said the widespread desire for a dog park was one of the factors that initially put the Recreating Recreation millage proposal on the November 2016 ballot. Voters narrowly approved it that year.

“The dog park was the project that really spawned Recreating Recreation,” he said. “That’s how the whole millage got underway. We were looking for a home for the dog park and took an inventory of our park system.”

Langlois said the original idea was to put the dog park at Magnolia Park, but officials later changed their minds.

“In talking with some of the neighbors at Magnolia Park, we ultimately thought Delia would be a better fit,” he said. “There’s not really any residents residing quite as close to the dog park.”

Langlois said the reason the dog park has been delayed is that it needed some finishing touches. It required working with DTE Energy to get electricity for the bathrooms, for turf irrigation and for the gate where users enter with an electronic pass.

“Absolutely, COVID-19 played a huge role in the delay,” he added. “Our goal was to open it up in the spring. April was our goal, and because of COVID-19, we kind of pushed it back and kept pushing it back.”

The dog park gives dogs a chance to run around without their leashes, and the grounds take up around 2 acres. A larger, 1.25-acre section accommodates both large and small dogs, while a 0.75-acre section is designed for smaller dogs only.

“Owners might not want them to socialize with the larger dogs if they are afraid (that) the bigger dogs might play a little rougher,” Langlois explained.

Other site features include a water fountain, picnic tables and dispensers for dog feces collection bags, city officials said.

Langlois said interested dog owners may go to the Parks and Recreation Department or visit its website to print off an application that they can send to the department. The application requires owners to verify dog licenses and proof of vaccinations, as well as to affirm the amenity’s rules.

The new dog park is located near the tennis courts at the east side of Delia Park, near the intersection of Ryan and 18 1/2 Mile roads in Sterling Heights. An annual dog park pass costs $12 for residents, $10 for senior citizen residents, $24 for nonresidents and $20 for senior nonresidents. A card costs an additional $5.

Sterling Heights Recreation Supervisor Rachel Mulawa said she is excited about residents finally being able to use the space for their pets to exercise.

“We really didn’t face too many challenges with it,” she said. “The only challenge was so many projects going on at the same time.”

Dog park hours of operation are 7 a.m.-10 p.m. April-September. Children under age 6 are not allowed, and other minors are allowed only if attending with an adult dog park pass holder.

Find out more about the dog park by visiting www.sterling-heights.net/1722/Dog-Park or by calling (586) 446-2700.

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