Lake Macquarie’s first fenced dog park opened at Speers Point on Wednesday, much to the delight of some of its first visitors.
The designated off-leash area was announced in March 2017, but has finally become a reality and is ready for an influx of pooches this weekend as owners begin to utilise the park.
“This is absolutely fabulous,” said Julie Norman, who had brought her dachshund ‘Suzi Q’ in from Raymond Terrace for a “play date”. “There’s many breeds, but they all get on so well – the whole lot of them.”
Tyler Ingersoll and Shikera Stauffer came from Maitland to see the park and said it would help their French bulldog, ‘Biggie’, become comfortable around other dogs.
Warners Bay’s Catherine Benge, who brought her two dogs – ‘Akira’, an Australian Shepherd, and ‘Brandy’, a kelpie – said she’ll be a frequent visitor.
“If people use it appropriately and monitor their dogs, I think it’s well worth the investment from council,” Ms Benge said.
Lake Macquarie City Council’s manager community planning, Wes Hain, said the new fenced park is a great community asset.
“This new area not only provides 10,000 [square metres] of space for dogs to exercise and play freely, it brings people together, helps build a stronger community and encourages our residents to become more active as well,” Mr Hain said.
“We know there is strong demand all across the city for areas in which the community can safely exercise and socialise their dogs and we are exploring ways to provide more of these facilities.”
Council is planning another fenced dog park at Croudace Bay.
There are 29 unfenced off-leash dog areas across Lake Macquarie LGA, nearly double the 17 in Newcastle, but the park is the first enclosed space.