Downtown dog park gets highly-requested upgrades

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The dogs have all the space they need to roam and run at the downtown dog park, but pet owners have noticed something has been missing.

“[We need] more shade in the summertime. That`s really it,” said Jessica Ewald, who says she comes to the park with her two dogs almost every day. “It has everything that we need.”

Shade sounds simple enough, but it`s been a challenge for the City of Huntsville.

The dog park is located near the I-565 overpass, and highway regulations don’t allow permanent structures in its right of way. The city worked closely with the State Department of Transportation and found a compromise that met federal guidelines and accommodated the needs of pet owners.

“We’re very fortunate we had support from some other departments and went to the state and got approval to do this,” said Steve Ivy, Parks and Recreation Director. “It’s something we’ve really been trying to do for 3 to 4 years.”

The solution was to put up two non-permanent pavilions to offer shelter from the sun and rain. The project only cost $15,000. There is a sunshade in the dog park and the nearby skate park.