Dogs and dog lovers now have something else to wag their tails about.
ZBonz dog park, located off of Camp Bowie Boulevard, held its soft opening Jan. 30. The soft opening means that while construction is still going on in the park, residents can bring their dogs and utilize all of the new space.
“It went well,” project manager Scott Penn said. “I haven’t heard any negative feedback.”
The grand opening is tentatively set for April 9 as long as there are no more delays in construction.
The park has already had several delays, such as a prolonged wait for state transportation permits and private funding to purchase materials. Record-setting rain also closed the site for a couple months.
Penn said the only other delay he could see being a problem now is the weather.
The construction to finish the park will be ongoing during the weekdays; however, the park is still open both weekdays and weekends. Penn said he sees “10 to 15 cars” at the park during the week.
“Most of the stuff in the dog park will be built within the next few weeks,” Penn said.
Whitney Rodriquez, the marketing coordinator for the Fort Worth park and recreation department, said the park could be closed at any time depending on the work being done.
“Although we are eager for the park to get used, the safety of the public and their pets is our number one priority as we finish up this project,” Rodriguez said.
The 10-acre park is divided into two areas: one for dogs less than 40 pounds and one for dogs more than 40 pounds. Owners can put their smaller dogs in the big dog area if they want; however, according to the ZBonz park rules, this is not recommended.
All dogs must be at least four months old, licensed with the city, and be up to date on their rabies shots to play in the park.
Each side of the park is fully surrounded by a fence and features a pond, an agility course and grassy areas for the dogs to run around. There are also benches for owners and trash cans for poop bags.
Fort Worth resident Delia Owens said the pond is a favorite of her dog, Rooster.
“The first thing he did was run and get in the pond,” Owens said.
Daniel Villegas said while his dogs Kinsler and Colt also love the water, drying them off isn’t always easy.
“I hope they get a dry-off area, so when we’re done with the lake, we can gate them off so they don’t have access to the water anymore,” Villegas said.
While there are no plans currently to build a dry-off area, Penn said as long as donations keep coming in, they will continue to improve the park. He said the department is currently raising money for lighting inside the park.
The park has already received $676,000 from the city, $510,000 in private donations and $470,000 in pro bono labor costs, Penn said. During the grand opening ceremony on April 9, a donor wall will be revealed featuring plaques with the names of donors.
“We’re looking forward to the opening,” Penn said. “We hope everyone enjoys it.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the size of the park and amenities still under construction. The park is 10 acres.
CORRECTION: A previous version of the video in this story incorrectly stated that bathrooms would be constructed at the park.