Construction has begun on an off-leash dog park at Branch Brook Park in Newark and Belleville, officials said Friday.
"We are always looking for opportunities to improve our open spaces and create recreation opportunities for the public. The development of the dog park transforms an underutilized area of the park into a vibrant location where community members and their canine pets can gather and socialize," Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said.
The dog park is scheduled to be completed by the end of next month.
"We are happy to work with the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association, which came to us with the idea for a dog park in Branch Brook. This is another way for the public to enjoy our open spaces," he added.
The 30,000-square-foot park will be located in the Northern Division of the park, close to the Heller Parkway entrance to the park and the Parks Department Maintenance Facility.
The dog park will have an 11,000-square-foot section for small dogs, and a section measuring 19,000 square feet for bigger pooches.
The entrance to the dog park consists of a double fence to prevent unleashed dogs from running way. A designated crosswalk will be created at the entrance for dog owners and their pets who park and cross the street. Trees were pruned and dead trees were removed; trash receptacles, dog bag dispensers, dog washing stations and park benches were installed.
Mott MacDonald of Iselin was awarded a $42,700 contract to design the Branch Brook Dog Park and Picerno Giordano of Kenilworth was awarded a public bid for $589,159 to build it.
The Branch Brook Dog Park will be the fifth dog park in the Essex County Parks System. The Watsessing Dog Park in Bloomfield/East Orange opened in 2005. The South Mountain Dog Park in Maplewood/Millburn opened in 2006. The Brookdale Dog Park in Bloomfield/Montclair opened in 2007. The Hilltop Dog Park in North Caldwell opened in 2018.
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