FUQUAY-VARINA — For three years, local doggies have waited for an open space to run, frolic and sniff out new playmates.
The wait is over.
Fuquay-Varina is set to open its first dog park at noon Monday at 110 Woodland Drive.
The 1-acre park has separate play areas for small dogs and large dogs, and it features benches, shady areas and dog-waste stations.
“The dog park is an amenity that Fuquay-Varina residents have wanted for quite some time, and it has been in our master plan,” said town spokeswoman Susan Weis. “So many folks are excited about the new dog park. It gives citizens a wonderful opportunity to exercise and enjoy themselves.”
Although the $50,000 park is complete, town officials decided to wait until Monday to open it to let newly planted grass take root.
This is the first free dog park in southwestern Wake County. Apex and Cary charge annual membership fees that range from $30 to $80 a year. Holly Springs and Morrisville don’t have dog parks.
There was so much interest in the park that residents formed the Fuquay-Varina Dog Owners Group on Facebook and signed a petition asking the town to keep the project on its radar.
The town put off building the park during tough economic times but restarted the project earlier this year.
“I feel really excited that it’s actually opening,” said resident Nancy Carlson, who has two dogs. “It’s a nice way to meet other animal lovers and people in the community.”
Carlson is the proud owner of Molly, a 9-year-old boxer, and Lilly, a 1-year old Chihuahua. Carlson said she hasn’t visited the dog parks in Cary or Raleigh because they are too far. The nearest park, in Apex, charges a fee.
“I think people are going to really love it,” she said of the Fuquay-Varina park. “It’s just something fun they can do outdoors. That’s really nice that it’s free.”
Carlson also owns Critter Sitter Pet Care Services.
“I’m looking forward to taking some of my clients’ pets there,” she said.