Bounding out of cars and straining on their leashes, dozens of dogs and their peeps turned out for the dedication of the Oak Lawn Park District’s new dog park at 9100 S. Melvina Ave., across the street from Columbus Manor Park.
Oak Lawn Village Trustee Jerry Hurckes said it was the most well attended ribbon cutting that he’s been to in years. Oak Lawn canines sniffed the grass and checked out the amenities at Bailey’s Crossing, named for park district commissioner Mary Wallace’s late dog.
Wallace, who pressed the park district board to build a dog park for residents, said it was worth the wait. (Watch the video of the dog park dedication.)
“I’ve been imagining this day for six years,” Wallace said. “The park board did a great job of working together to find a great location. All the effort and perseverance and no’s have been worth it.”
Wallace thanked park district employees Joel Craig, Michael Boudreau and Greg Fitzmorris for transforming the former 2-acre land tract with a walking path and a bench into a doggie utopia.
“I had no idea they would make it this beautiful,” she said.
The new park features a wide expanse of grass and trees where two-legged and four-legged friends can commune with nature, a drinking fountain built at dog height, sculptures and a secure fence with a double gate.
“I love it. It’s beautiful. We needed it around here,” Oak Lawn-resident Matt O’Hara, who came with wife, Linda, and their two Tibetian terriers, Molly and Jake.
While dogs were on leash for the dedication, the park offers an area where dogs can romp, play and socialize freely off leash.
for the dog park are still available at the Oak View Center, as well as memorial bricks to remember a dog-loving family member or a special pet that’s crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.
Having frequented a lot of dog parks in the city with my own pooch – mostly small asphalt parking lots surrounded by a chain link fence – Bailey’s Crossing is a gift that Oak Lawn residents and their pups will enjoy for decades to come.
From the Editor: Molly and Jake, who were at the dog park dedication with their "parents" Matt and Linda O'Hara, were highly insulted to be called "shihtzus" in this report. They are Tibetian terriers. The breed has been corrected, although I still think you're some kind of shaggy things.