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A sign detailing the rules of the current Collegedale Dog Park sits outside of the recreation area for dogs. Collegedale is the recipient of a $25,000 grant to further expand the park. / Photo by Tierra Hayes

In July, the city of Collegedale received a $25,000 Dog Park Dash Grant from the Boyd Foundation to improve its dog park.

Most of the $25,000 went toward new equipment including agility courses, an adjustable dog jump, refurbished benches and a new concrete section and sidewalk that will connect the park to the Wolftever Greenway. The park was closed for 10 days at the end of January to install these upgrades, said Parks and Recreation Director Traci Bennett-Hobek.

The grant money was also used to improve drainage, with catch basins now underneath the park, Bennett-Hobek said. In early February, the city will install a new water fountain station, one of the final upgrades.

City officials recently discussed possibly relocating the park or adding another dog park per the suggestion of a citizen.

At a commission meeting on Jan. 21, resident Johnnie Hoskins suggested the city develop the site at 9318 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. However, Public Works Director Eric Sines said that property would require too much development before it would be usable.

"The property that was suggested for a second dog park is only a two-mile drive away from the current dog park, and would require a major capital investment for infrastructure," Sines wrote in a followup email. "At this time the city of Collegedale is not looking to relocate or build a second dog park."

Sines noted that while the current park is small — about a third of an acre — it is close to several parking lots and centrally located in the city. The American Kennel Club recommends dog parks be at least an acre in size, to give dogs room to roam.

In November, the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association featured the city's park among the best in terms of layout and structure. The park uses mulch instead of grass, which acts as a sponge, Bennett-Hobek said.

The Boyd Foundation chose Collegedale as one of 30 cities to receive the grant last year, and also chose nearby Signal Mountain.

Bennett-Hobek said a grand reopening of the park is planned but a date has not yet been set.

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com.

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