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Forest Preserve Opening Joliet Dog Park in 2014

The Lower Rock Run facility, being built at McClintock Road and Route 6, will have separate areas for small and large dogs.

Joliet's first dog park will open in 2014, courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of Will County.

The Lower Rock Run-McClintock Road Access park, a 7.5-acre site at McClintock Road and Route 6, was approved by the district's operations committee Wednesday and will get final approval next week by the full board, district spokesman Bruce Hodgdon said.

When finished, it will be the fifth dog park in the district, joining Hammel Woods in Shorewood, Messenger Marsh in Homer Glen, Whalon Lake in Naperville and Ballou Road Access in Wilmington, which opens in August.

"(Dog parks) are a feature that have been very popular with the public," Hodgdon said. "The feedback, the number of permits (being purchased), the usage are very strong."

The project, located across the road from the relatively new Rock Run Rookery, will cost $445,250. The layout features three sections -- one for small dogs only and two others for all dogs. The latter two will be rotated -- one opened while the other is closed -- in order to prevent the turf from getting too worn down, Hodgdon said.

Among the other amenities to be built by Frank Burla & Sons Builders Inc. of Channahon, which won the contract, are a 57-space parking lot with overflow capacity, a latrine-style rest room, sidewalks, signage and a picnic bench, he said.

As is the case with the other dog parks, users need to obtain a permit that ensures their pet is up to date on vaccinations and to cover some of the costs involved with maintenance, such as providing bags for owners to clean up after their animals.

Permits are $40 for one dog, $55 for two dogs and $70 for three dogs, the maximum number allowed per owner. Out-of-county residents can use the facility but must pay double for the permit.

Currently, about 3,200 people have obtained permits, Hodgdon said.

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