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Saturday

September 2014

20

New dog park may come to Mukwonago

Mukwonago dog owners can look forward to using a dog park in Mukwonago Park on Highway LO  in the Town of Mukwonago.

Mukwonago dog owners can look forward to using a dog park in Mukwonago Park on Highway LO in the Town of Mukwonago. Photo by: Submitted photo

Area dogs may soon have something to bark about. Thanks to the efforts of a few local residents and businesses as well as Waukesha County, funds are being collected to create a Mukwonago dog park in Waukesha County's Mukwonago Park, at W325 S9945 Beulah Road.

The idea to build a dog park in Mukwonago came when County BoardSupervisor Gilbert Yerke informed town officials that the county was looking for an area to build another dog park. Town Supervisor Tom Stefanowski explained that after hearing the county was considering Mukwonago as a potential location, he went to The End of the Leash to feel out local interest. The shop began collecting signatures in support of the dog park, and soon nearly 1,000 were collected. The signatures were taken back to the county, and plans have since been progressing.

"The people want it," Stefanowski said of the dog park.

A news release from the county noted that the Department of Parks and Land Use is updating the master plan for Mukwonago Park. "Dog exercise areas have continued to grow in popularity, and the county has experienced positive results at Minooka and Nashotah Parks," the release noted.

It added that the proposed project area takes advantage of an existing underutilized picnic area, park roadway, parking, gentle slopes and shade trees, thereby minimizing development costs.

Waukesha County has $50,000 in the parks operational budget for this project. Private fundraising would contribute $25,000 to the project, according to the county.

Dog parks typically cost between $50,000 and $100,000, depending on existing improvements, access to parking, shelter, restrooms and the need to clear existing vegetation, grading and add vegetative cover, according to the county.

The basic elements of the proposed Mukwonago Park Dog Exercise Area include parking, mowed grass walkways, entrance gates and signs for the large breed and small breed areas, as well as perimeter fencing and signs. The existing nearby park shelter would be incorporated into the design. A small parking area dedicated for users to access the pond with the dogs will be provided. The existing MaintenanceBuilding restrooms are located nearby. In the future, a new restroom facility will be added to the nearby picnic area for park users and dog exercise area users, said the news release.

Eagle resident and dog park volunteer Michele Tegen said, "There has been talk of the residents wanting a dog park in Mukwonago." She added that she and the other volunteers helping organize fundraising and planning for the park "really feel a need for this, and we've seen what it has done in the Milwaukee County area" in not only giving dogs a place to play, but also bringing neighbors and the community together. "It's more than just a place for your dog to run around," she said.

Volunteers hope to have a meet-and-greet in the park sometime soon so residents can talk with county representatives and get a feel for the park.

Tegen said that "we want it to be a really fun community-type situation so that everyone can feel part of it and contribute."

Volunteers hope to raise the $25,000 by December 2013; however, the sooner the money is raised, the sooner the project can start. Donations may be mailed to or dropped off at PyraMax Bank, 405 River Crest Court, Mukwonago. Donations may also be dropped off at The End of the Leash. Checks should be made out to Mukwonago Dog Park.

"We're hoping that people will start some of their own fundraising efforts as well," said Tegen.

The county currently has two dog parks; one at Minooka Park and one at Nashotah Park. Minooka Park, 1927 E. Sunset Drive,Waukesha, has a 15-acre dog exercise area that opened in October 2007. Nashotah Park, on Highway C in Nashotah, has a 14.5-acre site that opened in September 2009. The hours of operation are consistent with the normal park hours - sunrise to 10 p.m. - unless posted otherwise; use of the dog park is included in the park entrance fee.

More information and updates will be posted on the Mukwonago Dog Park Facebook page.

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