NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A popular dog park is getting an upgrade for more pups and their humans to enjoy the green space at night.
New Hanover County is extending the hours at the dog park located at Long Leaf Park (314 Pine Grove Dr.). Open 8 a.m. to sunset, once Duke Energy installs lighting, closing time will be 10 p.m. Added lighting will strengthen safety measures during the park’s later hours.
“Because of the dog park’s popularity and heavy use, we have received requests for lighting to make the park usable in the evening,” county parks and gardens assistant director Andy Johnson said.
The county estimates hundreds of people use the park daily.
Duke Energy will install three perimeter light poles, for a total of four LED lights. According to Johnson, estimated monthly utility lighting charges are expected to be around $180 for the additional lights. The county is paying $2,000 in upfront costs.
“Due to the dense pine tree population inside the dog park, lighting coverage will not be 100% but will be adequate for evening use,” Johnson added.
No trees are planned for removal to make way for the project. Installation likely will not be complete until February, according to internal emails.
The dog park allows for off-leash activity within two fenced-in areas — one for smaller pups and another for larger dogs. Otherwise, canines must be leashed at all times in the park if not a designated area.
Long Leaf Park recently received additional upgrades per community request. Fitness stations, similar to its ninja warrior course, and adult basketball courts were added. The four tennis courts were also refurbished and existing incandescent light was replaced with more energy-efficient LED lighting.
Long Leaf is just one of 25 parks and athletic facilities owned and maintained by New Hanover County. The parks and garden department manages more than 2,800 acres of green space, sporting areas, boat ramps, fishing areas, public spaces, walking trails and gardens.
The county’s other dog park is Ogden Park, located at 615 Ogden Park Drive. All dogs must bear a collar with owner identification and the county license and rabies vaccination tags. It’s against the law for an owners to fail to provide current rabies inoculation for any dog four months or older.
More of the county’s dog park rules can be found here.
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