Shawano dog park finally has its day

Facility open for business as city sets future grand opening date
Tim Ryan

The city of Shawano has finally unleashed its long-awaited dog park, which quietly went into service last week while the city works out future plans for a ribboncutting and official grand opening.

There are still some minor finishing touches to be done over the next few weeks on the Animal Recreation Facility (ARF), located at the corner of Industrial Drive and Jaycee Court, but canine visitors and their owners can make use of the facility now.

Park and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks said a grand opening would probably take place this fall, but the park was basically opened for business once the public picked up the scent.

“With the fences being up and the gates in place, which are obviously the primary piece, people kind of started finding it,” Hendricks said. “They got to wondering what it was and what’s going on, so the story kind of got going.”

Hendricks said the grand opening could take place in late September or early October.

The ARF currently features perimeter fencing, double-gate entry, separation between large and small dog areas, benches, and waste bag dispensers.

Donations that helped make the dog park a reality include $15,000 from the Nora Jende Charitable Fund and $2,000 from the Triple MT Group, along with other donations from various other individuals, according to the city.

“These donations combined with city funds are what made this highly anticipated development a reality,” the city said in a news release. “The ARF offers our community a dedicated and safe environment for dogs to exercise and for people to socialize with other pet owners and enjoy time outdoors.”

The city put up $30,000 toward the facility in its capital improvement projects budget.

The park was designed to accommodate future amenities, should funds become available through additional donations or sponsorships.

Hendricks said some trees will be planted on the spring, and other items on the future wish list could include a water source, dog agility components and some small structures to provide shade.

“As far as I know, it’s the only one in Shawano County and it’s been talked about since long before I got here,” Hendricks said. “It’s cool to finally be able to offer one to the community.”

The city asks that visitors obey the rules posted at the park, including that dogs be legally licensed and vaccinated.

Owners are also asked to pick up after their dogs. Waste receptacles are available on site.

For information on the ARF or any city of Shawano park, contact the Shawano Park and Recreation Department at 715-526-6171 or visit