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New dog park with agility area to open soon in Wichita

In a few weeks, dogs of Wichita will have another public park to play in.

A newly constructed dog park in the eastern portion of W.B. Harrison Park, 1300 S. Webb, is expected to open to mid-June, according to Troy Houtman, director of Wichita’s Park and Recreation Department.

It will have separate areas for large dogs and small dogs, as well as shade structures, areas for open play, benches, tables and an agility course.

As of mid May, the project was “about 90 percent completed,” Houtman said.

The large hill in the northeast corner of the park — often used by neighborhood kids for sledding in wintertime — is within the dog park area.

That doesn’t mean this is end for sledding in Harrison Park, however.

“There was a concern about would people still have access when it snows,” Houtman said. “By all means. I’m not sure there will be a lot of dogs there in wintertime. When it snows really big the kids in the neighborhood, and even dogs, can sled.”

Only the eastern portion of the Harrison Park will be earmarked for dogs — everything else about the park remains the same.

It is the fourth dog park in Wichita. Others include Chapin Park, 2400 E. MacArthur Road, K-9 Rooster Dog Park at Meridian Park, 2127 N. Meridian, and Murfin Dog Park, 3313 N. Hillside.

A city of Wichita’s size should have 10-12 dog parks, according to 2016 meeting minutes from the Board of Park Commissioners.

Houtman said the Park and Rec Department has “a couple ideas” for future park locations, but that those are not finalized.

The Harrison Park project is a collaboration between the city, WDM Architects and Together Wichita, a nonprofit made up of businesses, including The Wichita Eagle, that organize and fund projects within the city.

The city funded the water line for the park, fencing, concrete, sidewalks, a parking lot and basic infrastructure — and Together Wichita paid for “the majority of the actual work on the dog park,” Houtman said.

Together Wichita paid for the architectural designs for the park, as well as the construction of the structures in the dog park.

The agility section of the park is expected to include a teeter totter, weaving posts, hurdles, a crawl tube, a ramp and climb, and more.

Look for the department to release information about the park’s official opening date on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WichitaParkandRec.

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.
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