The Columbia Association is planning on constructing a dog park at the Harper’s Choice ball fields, according to CA spokesperson David Greisman.
CA staff presented the idea and location for the dog park to the Harper’s Choice Village Board last month and they approved the plan unanimously, according to materials provided by Greisman.
Those materials noted parking is already available, that the site is surrounded by other recreational uses to the south and east and Rivendell Road bounds the site to the north, while a woodland buffer exists on the western edge.
The dog park is the second one being considered for Columbia. The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks is also in the preliminary stages of looking into building a dog park in Blandair Park, in eastern Columbia.
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The one in Harper’s Choice would provide residents with a dog park in west Columbia. Currently the only nearby dog park is Worthington Dog Park off of New Cut Road in Ellicott City.
“We believe that there’s a tremendous interest in dog parks community-wide,” wrote Jan Clark, landscape architect for Columbia Association, in an email. “We think there is actually enough demand for two dog parks. Our thinking is that ultimately there will be one dog park on the west side of town and one on the east side of town and that both would be well-used and would allow for more convenience for people to get to a dog park.”
Currently, the dog park is being planned for the two ball fields in Harper’s Choice, according to Clark.
Wendy Tzuker, the Harper’s Choice Village manager, said that both ball fields may be eliminated. One of them is currently used for the annual Longfellow Fourth of July softball game, but Tzuker said they would find another location to hold the game if both fields are eliminated for the dog park.
Preliminary designs or hours of operation for the dog park have not been created yet, but Clark wrote, “We don’t expect it to be a nuisance in any way. We’re looking at getting input from the community and would also be looking at what other dog parks do to establish our policies.”
The CA Board has approved $10,000 for planning funds and $80,000 for dog park construction, according to Clark.
Editor's Note: The original version of this story said the Harper's Choice dog park would be in east Columbia, it's planned for west Columbia and the Blandair Park dog park is being planned for east Columbia. We apologize for the error.