Man's best friends, large and small, and their owners are in for a treat at Hillsborough County's newest dog park.
Northwest County Dog Park, 8951 W. Waters Ave., is unique for a couple of exciting reasons:
It's the first dog park in the County with agility training equipment: large and small hoop jumps, a "Rover" jump with an adjustable bar, and crawl tubes. Our four-legged friends will be able to get a good workout.
The facility, which the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners dedicated Sept. 19, also includes special "doggie grass" - artificial turf - the County is testing. Just under 5,000 square feet were laid down.
The park has shelters that provide shade, doggie drinking fountains, benches, a dog wash, leash poles, litter receptacles, and pet waste stations.
"I'm so glad the County made a place for dogs. They need someplace to run," says Ching-Ian Ellis, a Town 'N Country resident who was at the dog park with Tilly, her West Highland terrier. "She's already having lots of fun.''
Northwest County Dog Park is located at the HART Northwest Transfer Center and Park 'n Ride, thanks to an agreement between the County and the transit agency, which increases cost savings. The site, which also has restrooms, ample parking and lighting, originally belonged to the County but was turned over to HART for development of the transfer center and Park 'n Ride.
The 2-acre facility is actually two parks in one. One part is designed specifically for large dogs, while a second area is for smaller ones. A walking path connects the two parks, which are along a water channel, and the nearby Upper Tampa Bay Trail adds to the amenities.
Northwest County Dog Park is an example of how the County works with residents to achieve a win-win for the community. Some residents didn't think the project was a good fit for an existing park that a homeowner had proposed. So the County organized meetings, and Parks & Recreation and Real Estate & Facilities Services worked together to recommend the HART site.
The cost of the project was $200,000, which came from park impact fees charged to developers for their projects. To use the park, residents are required to have current tags on their pets and proof of rabies vaccinations.
Northwest County Dog Park is the county's sixth such park, but the County is planning others. Tentative plans calls for new facilities in New Tampa, Carrollwood, and Brandon.