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Opening Day at Paws ‘n Play not scheduled yet

Dog park completion depends on sod

by Katie Arvia

LANSING, Ill. (August 15, 2018) – Despite being hindered by severe weather and contractor delays, the Paws ‘n Play dog park (17551 Chicago Avenue) is nearing completion. An exact opening date has not yet been determined by the park district.

When finished, the one-acre park will have separate areas for large and small dogs. The areas will be enclosed and will feature grassy berms, a shade shelter, park benches, and a two-level water fountain.

Sharon Desjardins, Senior Superintendent of Strategy & Operations, explained: “The opening date will be determined primarily by the sod that has been laid. We will need for the sod to be well established in order to avoid damage to it, so an exact opening date has not yet been determined.”

dog park
The park district wants to give the sod a chance to get established before opening Paws ‘n Play dog park to the public. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Pre-registering for the park

Residents can get a head start on registration paperwork by picking up a member packet at the Eisenhower Center (2550 178th Street) or by downloading the PDF:

dog park
The first 75 dog park registrants will receive a sport pack.
Members who complete their packet early can return it to the Eisenhower Center and receive a free dog park sport pack (limited to the first 75 members).

“This will enable residents to start getting their health information in order,” Desjardins says. To register for dog park access, owners must provide current vaccination records and veterinarian information. These records are required to be updated each year. Dogs must also be registered with the village to use the park.

Also included in the member packets are the Paws ‘n Play official park rules and etiquette/safety guidelines. Those who use the dog park are expected to become familiar with this information and adhere to the rules at all times.

Paying to play

Lansing residents can register their furry friends for $50 for the first dog and $30 for any additional dogs. Non-residents can register for $75 for the first dog and $50 for any additional dogs. Proof of residency is required to receive the lower rates. Checks will not be accepted as a form of payment.

Residents can even have their dog acknowledged at the park through the “I Helped, Too” sponsorship program. For a one-time donation of $100, a sign featuring your pup’s name will be mounted at the Paws ‘n Play park. Desjardins says those who are interested “should sign up now for sponsorship so that their dog’s name placard can be created.” The park district is searching for volunteers to help maintain the park as well. If interested, please call 708-474-8552 for more information.

Gaining access

Pets who are registered at the park will receive a fob entry device: “The park district has not yet received the computerized entry system and fob entry devices. Once we do, the fobs will be distributed at the Eisenhower Center at the time of member registration and health verification,” Desjardins said. Each fob is for one dog and cannot be transferred or shared.

Regardless of the many unforeseen circumstances that have delayed Opening Day at Paws ‘n Play, Desjardins remains optimistic: “It’s getting close and it’s getting exciting. Lansing’s best friends will be able to enjoy their new play space soon!”


Katie Arvia
Katie Arvia
Katie is a lifelong Lansing native who currently works full-time in marketing while also freelance reporting for The Lansing Journal. In 2015, she graduated with high honors from Saint Xavier University in Chicago with a BA in English, and she plans to pursue a Master's degree in the near future. Her favorite Lansing Journal assignments include coverage of TF South High School's walkout ("Demonstrating the possibilities") and her St. Patrick's Day interview with her grandma ("St. Patrick's Day traditions: reflections of an Irish granddaughter").


  1. Will certain breeds be restricted? I own a pit bull mix terrier.

    What will be the hours to use this park?

    Will plastic bags for clean up be available?

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