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Lansing dogs and owners mingle at dog park Grand Opening

Paws ‘n Play ribbon-cutting includes dog treats, people food, vendor giveaways, and a K9 demonstration

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (October 13, 2018) – “This has been a dream for a couple of years,” said Park Board Commissioner John Kelly. “It was number one on the wish list for the community. So we heard the community, and we acted on it.”

From left: Lan-Oak Park Board Commissioners Robert Tropp, Micaela Smith, Patrick Gulatta, John Kelly, and Jim Long cut the ribbon and officially open the dog park. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Paws ‘n Play Dog Park is located in Bock Park, along Chicago Avenue, just south of the expressway. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The occasion was the ribbon-cutting marking the official Grand Opening of Lansing’s new dog park, Paws ‘n Play. Approximately 100 people and 30 dogs were gathered along Chicago Avenue for the ceremony—some were already members and had already visited the park after it opened on September 17. Others were there to try it for free before purchasing a one-year membership. And still others were there simply as dog lovers who wanted to express their support of this new venture by Lan-Oak Park District.

The bright sunshine and fall temperatures made it a beautiful day for the ceremony, and guests streamed into the spacious park once the ribbon was cut:

Ted’s Feed Store (17950 Burnham Avenue) was at the event with samples and a raffle for a basket of doggie goodies. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Lansing Animal Hospital (17916 Torrence Avenue) gave away bags of dog treats and invited dog owners to enter a drawing for various animal products and services. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Ridge Animal Clinic (3667 Ridge Road) gave away bags of dog treats and supplies, and invited attenders to enter their gift card raffle. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

The Lansing Police Department also joined the festivities, and Officer Haan and his K9 partner Rico provided a demonstration of how dogs assist Lansing police:

Artist Bill Jackson provided free caricatures of dogs and their owners. Jackson is skilled in a variety of art styles and mediums; for events like today’s he typically offers marker drawings based on prepared templates because it’s a quicker way to serve guests and keep the line moving. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Park Board Commissioner Bob Tropp manned the grill. The meal? Hot dogs, in keeping with the theme of the event. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The dog park offers separate areas for large dogs and small dogs. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Paws ‘n Play Dog Park is a full acre, giving dogs plenty of space to run. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Paws ‘n Play Dog Park is open from dawn until dusk every day, year-round. A one-year membership costs $50 for Lansing residents, and the year begins whenever the completed membership packet is turned in with payment. Members receive a fob that opens the entrance gate of the park.

Membership packets are available online at and in person at the Eisenhower Center, 2550 178th Street. In order to complete the application, owners will need to refer to their dogs’ records and indicate the dates of various vaccinations. The forms can be completed at home, but payment is required in person, and activating the dog park entrance fob must be done in person.

Paws ‘n Play Dog Park is located in Bock Park, along Chicago Avenue, just south of the expressway.


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Grover loved it. He didn’t like the canine demo, he thought he was getting hurt. We had a great time. It has been worth the wait.

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