IRVING PARK — Phase two of construction of the dog park at Horner Park is underway and expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The project has been in the works since 2013, when neighbors reached out to the Horner Park Advisory Council expressing interest in a dog-friendly area inside the park.
The latest phase of construction began at the beginning of November and is expected to cost about $200,000.
Construction of this phase should be done by January and will include a pet- and people-friendly water fountain, a paved entryway, a water feature, fencing to create a small dog area and benches, said Erica Beutler, chair of the council’s dog park committee.
Some of the funds will also be used to repair fencing destroyed in the August derecho.
“The design has not changed significantly. The rendering on our website is similar to what we hope the final dog park will look like someday,” Beutler said. “However, it will not be exact.”
Some of the benches will be in different places, the fence line has changed slightly and there might not be enough funding to add the berms and tunnels when phase three construction begins.
“And … the turf play fields and other landscaping will not be added at this time,” she said.
Phase one of the project, which fenced off a southwest section of the park for dogs, was completed in 2018 and open to the public until the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened briefly in October before closing again when construction began.
Neighbors have continued to fundraise since 2018 so the park could eventually be resurfaced and other other amenities could be added to the dog-friendly area. To date, neighbors have raised $250,000.
The committee fell short of its fundraising goal for phase two and the bids came in much higher than anticipated, Beutler said. But the committee decided to begin construction to get improvements done sooner so people could start enjoying them early next year.
“We will need to raise another $150,000 or so to complete the project. The turf play fields alone cost $100,000,” Beutler said. “I’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone who has already donated … every dollar adds up and it will truly make all of the difference in terms of what we can get done and how soon we can do it.”
For more information about the project and to donate, click here.
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