HIAWATHA — Area pet owners could soon have a new dog park — the first for Hiawatha — to visit with their furry friends.
The roughly 2-acre park — to be located just south of Boyson Road along the Cedar Valley Nature Trail — came together thanks to agreements between the city, Linn County and nearby Dave Wright Auto.
Hiawatha Mayor Bill Bennett said collaborative efforts have helped not only provide the city with its first dog park, but keep costs low.
“It will end up being a win-win for the city,” Bennett said Friday. “I really did enjoy this project, I think it’s great for the citizens of Hiawatha.”
Dave Wright, owner of the auto dealership just to the west of the proposed site on the corner of Boyson and N Center Point roads, said plans for the park spurred from an unrelated conversation with city officials and snowballed from there.
“It was actually kind of an accident,” Wright said. “When I heard ‘a dog park’ was the No. 1 amenity the citizens of Hiawatha wanted, I thought what a perfect opportunity to give back to the communities that support use.”
Wright said volunteers will help build the park, and he plans to cover the cost of construction, which has been estimated at approximately $100,000, according to a news release.
Annual maintenance of the park will fall below $2,000.
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“The future Hiawatha dog park initiative is regionalism working at its best. It is inspirational to see government entities and the public working together for a common goal,” Hiawatha City Administrator Kim Downs said in the release.
The Linn County Board of Supervisors earlier this week approved leasing for .72 acres of county-owned land to Hiawatha to be used for the park. The county will maintain approximately one and a half acres of land directly to the south of the park for conservation purposes.
“We are pleased Linn County is able to help the city of Hiawatha advance its plans for a dog park and add to the quality of life amenities available in Linn County. We anticipate this will be a popular destination for area residents and their canine companions,” John Harris, chairman of the Linn County Board of Supervisors, said in a news release.
Linn County Conservation will aid the city with designing the park to incorporate some of the existing trees on the site, while opening up green space, according to the release. Added parking will be added near the site.
The project could take a little more than a year to finish, the release stated.
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