All shapes and sizes of dogs and their humans attended a grand opening ceremony for Sherman’s new dog park in Fairview Park Thursday.
The dog park, a project Mayor David Plyler said was a long time coming, opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony with a large crowd, despite the rain.
“I want to thank everyone for coming out on this wet day,” Plyler said. “What we have here is a community asset that will benefit the citizens of Sherman for decades. We talk about quality of life, this project highlights what we mean by quality of life. It is centrally located in our city and easily accessible for everyone in our community, regardless of background.”
Ashlee Horbath and her dog Ava were among the citizens who came out to enjoy the park’s amenities.
“It’s been a while since we have been to one since we never had one out here,” Horbath said. “I was just ready to get her out to play with other dogs. She is very playful. She can sometimes be too playful. I want to get her more socialized. Help her get her energy out before we go to bed.”
There were two sections for patrons to use. There was an area for large dogs over 30 pounds and a small area for those under 30 pounds. The park featured benches for people to sit on as well as fire hydrants and trees for dogs to sniff and enjoy. A large sign at the entrance prominently displayed the rules of the park. There was an arch with the words “Dog Park” in a sign and passing under the archway is a brick path.
“This is something citizens have wanted for a long time,” Dylan Johnson, Sherman Parks and Recreation coordinator said. “It is an increase in the quality of life for citizens. We’re happy people are out here using the facilities we have provided.”
Johnson said the process began in February when the city conducted a survey to determine what the public was seeking in a dog park. He said the response was overwhelming. Sherman is also selling engraved bricks that pet owners can purchase to memorialize their animal. The fundraiser is to help provide for adding amenities for the park as well as possible future expansions.
Johnson said applications turned in before Christmas can be installed before “Mardi Paws” a dog-centric event set to take place on March 9 in conjunction with Mardi Gras. He said there will be plenty of vendors selling treats for humans and dogs, as well as, potentially, a dog costume contest.
Plyler said part of the reason the park was possible was because it had been built mostly using in-house crews.
“By using in-house crews, we were able to save the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars,” Plyler said.