Destin Dog Park to get paw-sitive improvements

Annie Blanks
The Destin Log
A couple of pups chase each other at the Destin Dog Park on a sunny summer afternoon. Pups and their humans will soon see improvements to the dog park, with the addition of a 40-by-60 foot paved paw print at the front en-trance to the park, and re-sodding around park benches.

Dogs and their two-legged friends will soon see improvements to the Destin Dog Park.

The Destin City Council on Monday approved a plan brought forth by Friends of the Destin Dog Park, a private volunteer group that raises money to maintain the park, to create a 40-by-60 foot paved area at the front entrance to the park.

Lance Johnson, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, said the high volume of foot and paw traffic contributed to significant wear and tear of the sod and grass at the entrance.

“I never would have imagined the kind of traffic that park would see,” he said. “That’s why we needed a long-term fix instead of just multiple re-sodding projects.”

The Friends worked with the city engineering department to come up with the pavement design, which will be two colors and in the shape of a paw print.

“The public/private partnership (between the Friends and the city) is extraordinary,” Johnson said. “In all my years of doing park and rec, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The Friends also worked with Jim Murphy of Delta Pavers and Design Solution Enterprises Inc., a Miramar Beach-based company, to arrange construction of the pavement. The company is performing the service for a discounted rate, citing their desire to positively impact the city.

“It’s giving back to the city that gave so much to us,” Murphy said.

The total cost of the project is $12,902.55, or $1.50 per square foot. Though no official timeline has been established yet, Johnson estimates the project will be finished within the next few months.

Barb Telford, a volunteer with Friends who helped lead the paving project, said they are thrilled at the latest of what they hope will be many positive additions to the park.

“We can’t wait to see how cute (the paver) is going to be,” she said. “I think it’ll add a nicety to the dog park. We’ve always tried to make it the best in the area, and this project continues that philosophy.”