Pups and owners celebrate dog park opening

Pups and owners celebrate dog park opening
Bailey plays in the spray from the new fire hydrant splash pad during the opening festivities at the new dog park in Holmes Beach. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – The construction crews are out and the dogs are in at the new and improved dog park in Holmes Beach, renamed the Holmes Beach Community Dog Park.

“This has been a dream,” Mayor Judy Titsworth said of the new park during the grand opening ceremony Jan. 25. She added though some people thought the new park would never come to fruition, she hopes that the improved dog park is something that the community can be proud of for a long time. Titsworth also thanked Director of Development Services Eran Wasserman and the entire Public Works department staff for their work to see the plans for the dog park realized.

“If the dogs could speak, I think they would say that they approve,” Commissioner Carol Soustek said, watching dozens of dogs frolic in the grass at the new large dog park.

The dog park, located in the newly-renamed Community Park complex located adjacent to Holmes Beach City Hall, features grass and a shell mix area, a long dog run, shaded seating for people and pups, a water drinking fountain and a fire hydrant splash pad where dogs can get fresh drinking water and play in spray. The dog park is separated into two sections, one for large dogs and one for smaller dogs.

“It’s just wonderful,” resident Fran Derr said, looking around the new park.

Resident Renee Ferguson, a dog park user who helped work on the plans for the new park, said that she and her dog Ginger were both excited to see the dog park finally ready and open to the public.

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said.

Code Compliance Officer James Thomas provided music for the event while area dog rescues, pet store owners and other vendors came out to show their support for the new park, organized by Caryn Hodge. Some of the vendors included Poppo’s Taqueria, Underdog Rescue, Friends of Manatee County Animal Services, Running Rover, Perks 4 Pets, Manatee County Animal Services, Three Dog Bakery, Shelter Manatee, Live Naturally, Painting with a Twist and Anne Yarborough Pet Photography.