A shady, dog-leg-shaped corner of the Cleveland Heights Golf Course property would become Lakeland’s first wooded dog park next year, under a proposal unveiled at a City Commission planning session today. 

The site near Cleveland Heights Boulevard just north of The Park at Verona apartments would house a half-acre section for small dogs and three acres for large and medium-size canines.

In a nod to the park’s boomerang shape, its name would be Dog Leg Woods.

The estimated $130,000 development cost includes fencing, benches, trash cans, water fountains and brush clearing. Maintenance costs will be minimal, Parks and Recreation Director Bob Donahay told commissioners.

A dog park would extend the city’s moves to add park-like amenities to the Cleveland Heights property, including the Three Parks Trail that opened in the fall of 2015, Donahay said.

More than 1,625 homes are within a 30-minute walk of the park, city officials say. Asked about parking, Donahay said they are looking at a possible 20-car lot.

He credited Assistant Parks Director Pam Page with spearheading plans for the dog park.

The dog park proposal was presented as part of a larger discussion of the future of the Cleveland Heights Golf Course, during which commissioners discussed ways to attract younger players.

City staff members are presenting proposals for new programs to commissioners today and Thursday during an annual “business planning retreat” to help set priorities as they prepare a 2018 budget.

City commissioners were receptive to the dog park, but as The Ledger pointed out, there’s a long way to go before the budget is approved in September.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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