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Crowd of 500-plus help open new Joliet dog park

7/22/2014, 10:05 p.m.
The ribbon-cutting for the new facility, with one of its three sections designated just for small dogs, was held Saturday.
A pup stretches its paws in an enclosure reserved for small dogs during Saturday’s Rock Run Dog Park opening in Joliet. Courtesy of the Will County Forest Preserve District

Dogs of all sizes, species and wrinkle counts attend a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday for the Rock Run Dog Park in Joliet.

Courtesy of the Will County Forest Preserve District

Dogs of all sizes, species and wrinkle counts attend a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday for the Rock Run Dog Park in Joliet.

A woman and her pooch prepare to play on Saturday during the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Rock Run Dog Park opening.

Courtesy of the Will County Forest Preserve District

A woman and her pooch prepare to play on Saturday during the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Rock Run Dog Park opening.

The Will County Forest Preserve District provided this account of the opening of its new dog park in Joliet:

More than 500 people helped the Forest Preserve District of Will County celebrate the “dog days” of summer on Saturday as the Rock Run Dog Park opened its gates to the public for the first time.

There was plenty of running, frolicking, drooling and sniffing as dogs large and small explored the District’s new off-leash playground at the intersection of McClintock Road and Route 6, about 1.5 miles east of Interstate 55.

The 7.5-acre dog park is the District’s fifth and the first one to be located in the city of Joliet. During Saturday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Don Gould, president of the District’s Board of Commissioners, said the new dog park, will “strongly benefit” the residents of Channahon, Joliet and Rockdale, but all area residents are welcome to play with their pooches in the park.

“This will benefit the people of Will County for many future generations,” he added.

JoAnn Weaver said she was thrilled that a new dog park opened five minutes from her Rockdale home. She had been driving her dogs Jeffro, a terrier mix, and Lexi, a “big” Chihuahua, to the Messenger Marsh Dog Park in Homer Glen.

“That was a solid half hour (drive),” she said. “With this one five minutes away, I’ll be bringing them twice a day. They need the exercise for sure.”

In addition to Rock Run and Messenger Marsh dog parks, the District also has dog parks at Hammel Woods Preserve in Shorewood, Whalon Lake Preserve in Naperville and Forked Creek Preserve in Wilmington.

Permits, which are required for dog park use, may be purchased in person at Plum Creek Nature Center in Beecher, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee or Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet. Permit applications also may be submitted by mail along with payment. Applicants may register up to three dogs. All dogs must be current on rabies vaccinations.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District’s dog parks, or to obtain a dog park permit application, call 815-727-8700 or visit ReconnectWithNature.org.