Utica Approves Dog Park for Future Pioneer Park

Utica Mayor Thom Dionne pictured here with a $500,000 legislative grant, awarded from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to build the new Pioneer Park.

Utica City Council has approved a proposal to include a dog park within the city’s planned Pioneer Park. The park, still unofficially known as Pioneer Park, will be located to the north of Eppler Junior High School at the end of Hahn Street.

The city received a $500,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to use toward the land because it was previously a landfill and is now a brownfield development site. The money will be put toward developing the area as a recreational space.

Current plans for the proposed park include cleaning up the property, connecting it to the Iron Belle Trail, installing bathrooms, and improving Hahn Street.

The dog park will be located within the park and operate on a key fob entry system. The key fobs would have to be purchased, and the cost would go toward maintaining the park.

The idea for introducing a dog park in the City of Utica began as an Eagle Scout project planned by Utica High School student Charlie Borus. Borus presented the idea to the city back in April. Plans for the dog park include an area for off-leash play, obstacles for dogs, fencing, and an area for food and water for dogs and their owners. More may be added to the dog park as it is built.

Plans for the dog park and Pioneer Park are still being finished to ensure that it is both safe and effective for the city. The city welcomes the public at meetings to learn about the park’s construction and to offer input on how the city will operate the park.

City council meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. The next meeting is on October 9. To learn more about the proposed plan, contact the city at 586-739-1600. City council meeting agendas and minutes are also available online at cityofutica.org/.