Destin Dog Park plans out future features

Jordan Swanson
10-month-old Deacon is a German short hair pointer who enjoys visiting the Destin Dog Park with his owner, Allisa Liberto. Liberto said that she brings Deacon to the dog park as much as she can for exercise.

Plans for future attractions at Destin Dog Park could have the four-legged visitors sitting, staying and never wanting to leave.

Nancy Weidenhamer, owner of SOS Printing and Graphics in Destin, partnered with the city to form the Destin Dog Park in January and has been brainstorming new features ever since.

Weidenhamer said the hot summer months led people to want to visit the dog park around dusk when it’s cooler.

Thus, an inquiry for the amenity of soft lighting for nighttime came about.

“I have contacted a company to get the prices on the solar lighting, so we have to work through that for a little bit,” Weidenhamer said.

New benches and more trees were also added in the last couple months.

But as the dog park approaches its one year anniversary, volunteers have also received numerous requests for some kind of water feature. Weidenhamer said that if the water area became a reality, it’d have to be separate from the current play areas.

She added that there are several avenues of thought on the water feature.

“If I could go before city council and ask for a little more land there to have I don’t know what you call it — a water park…”

One of her visions depicts laying tile down and having an attraction that shoots water up through it.

“It will eliminate a lot of the mess of getting dirty and muddy and so forth,” she said. “The water feature is off in the future because we are going to have to get money.”

She said some people have even inquired about a “doggy swim area” on the beach or bay.

Others who prefer drier fun have called for a dog agility/obstacle course.

“We do have something that needs to be done before all of that, especially in the big dog park,” Weidenhamer said, pointing to the fact that the dogs had trampled the turf of the entry/exit area into almost nothing.

“It’s just a big dirt hole there,” she said.

Weidenhamer said pavers need to be laid down in that area to address the issue.

To learn more or to donate to Destin Dog Park, visit

“We’re really learning, we’re being educated as this goes along because we don’t even have a full year under our dog collar yet,” said Weidenhamer. “At least you know you did something that’s appreciated by the dogs and the people.”