Toledo is one of the few big communities in Ohio, and the only major city, without a dog park. Cincinnati has three. Cleveland and Columbus have several.
Toledo has talked about creating a dog park at least since 2009. A facility in Ottawa Park was proposed, but the park’s board voted it down.
Now, Mayor Mike Bell has given the go-ahead for a lease agreement between the city and a group that will manage the dog park on city land. Toledo Unleashed will run the park on a four-acre parcel on the site of the old South Toledo YMCA in Woodsdale Park. The city will lease the land to the group for a nominal fee.
The park will consist of two areas, one for small dogs and one for large ones. Toledo Unleashed plans to pay for construction of the park, including benches and rest rooms, with private fund-raising.
Estimated cost for the whole thing? Roughly $65,000. That’s a lot of happy animals and people for very little money.
A dog park won’t change the world, or Toledo. But it’s an inexpensive way to improve the quality of life and to foster community in the city.
It also gives dogs and their owners their due — along with golfers, tennis players, and skateboarders. Cities are about plurality and community.