Pooches and people soon will have a new place to romp in midtown Omaha.
City officials on Wednesday announced plans for an “urban” dog park — a small space, but one with key amenities — at Dewey Park near Midtown Crossing.
Parks Director Brook Bench said the dog park will be unlike any other in the city.
“The idea for Dewey Dog Park is to make a memorable space where dogs and owners want to visit,” Brooks said, “a place for the community to gather and to create a park that engages the people surrounding it.”
People will be able to relax and socialize in one of several seating areas while their furry friends frolic in the miniature stream or splash pad, test their skills on a small agility course or play catch with their humans in an open area. Synthetic turf will cover most of the park, and the Omaha West Rotary Club is donating 30 trees. Pets and people will have access to shade, and there will be drinking stations.
Construction on the park should be completed by fall, barring complications, city officials say.
City parks planner Jennifer Cross said the area was designed to accommodate the needs of both dogs and humans.
“You can sit in an Adirondack-style chair, hang out with your neighbors and have a conversation,” Cross said.
Other City of Omaha dog parks are the 2 acres in Hanscom Park and 7 acres in Hefflinger Park. The Dewey Dog Park will be 15,000 square feet, about a third of an acre.
“With the amount of foot traffic at our dog parks on any given day, we see a great need for a dog park that can sustain itself,” Bench said.
The dog park will be sandwiched between the handball court and tennis courts at Dewey, 550 Turner Blvd. The tennis courts, handball court, playground and neighborhood association building currently in the park will remain on site.
Dog owner D’Ann Rhoten said the park will contribute to a sense of community.
“It’s a good opportunity for the dogs to socialize, especially in this area where they’re probably cooped up all day,” Rhoten said as her black Labrador tugged at its leash at the press conference. “It’s a nice way to get them out and not only that, get them so that they’re used to having other dogs around them.”
The park will cater to dogs of all sizes, with one area for large dogs, one for small and medium dogs and a separate “puppy plaza” for the youngest pups.
A drainage system will repel fleas, mosquitoes and odor to ensure a clean area. Waste receptacles will be regularly checked, Cross said.
The park, which Bench estimated would cost $400,000, will be funded through a mix of public and private money. People can donate by visiting redbasket.org and searching Dewey Dog Park. The city will fund the park’s main infrastructure.
The building on the site, currently used by the Leavenworth Neighborhood Association, will be renovated for use by the Omaha Parks and Recreation Department and may include services for dog grooming and toenail clipping for the park’s furry visitors, Bench said.
Mayor Jean Stothert, a self-proclaimed dog lover, said she thinks the new space will enhance the quality of life Omaha is known for.
“This is an example of our commitment to upgrading city parks all over the city,” Stothert said, “and it’s a great addition to the growth of this midtown neighborhood and will provide another beautiful public space that we all can enjoy.”
If the funding develops, Omahans can look forward to similar dog parks elsewhere, Brooks said.
“This is the first one like this, and it won’t be the last,” he said. Fundraising will continue so that the other two dog parks can be improved, and “hopefully we will add dog parks.”
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Caliber, a 6-year-old Doberman, is on a never-ending hunt for the elusive squirrels in owner Amy Oetter's backyard. Caliber is brothers with former Pet of the Week winner Copper and K-9 Unit of the Week Tye.
Caliber was named the Week 43 Pet of the Week!
Tuna, the dog, is afraid of Yam Yam, the cat. The pets, owned by Lisa Ong in downtown Omaha, are positioned accordingly.
Stevie Ray Vaughan, an almost 5-year-old Bloodhound, is owned by Matt and Shayna Ray in Omaha. Stevie's bark is famous in the Candlewood Neighborhood, and he loves nipping rumps.
Patches, the cat, loves to take daily afternoon naps with his human brother. Owner Shelby Lanning posts the daily Patches photos to Facebook. Patches also always greets his owner at the front door when they return home, and follows all of his humans into the bathroom every time.
Mato, bottom, isn't sure she enjoys sharing the sun with her new brother. The duo is owned by Chrissy Frost in Omaha.
Margo, a French Bulldog who belongs to Dan and Vinessa Schwalm of Omaha, likes snow, hoodie weather and pestering her brother, Murph, another French Bulldog.
Luna, owned by Sara Buelt, is a big fan of Halloween (maybe).
Kobe, owned by David Dalton in eastern Iowa, will always be a supporter of Scott Frost and the Huskers. You can even hear a bit of "GBR" in his bark.
Griffey, owned by Jon Ringblom in Fremont, loves smiling and chewing on everything.
Daisy, left, and Hank, owned by Ellie Phillips in Omaha, are both certified therapy dogs. They visit libraries, nursing homes and local groups in the community.
Chapel a 12-year-old rescue cat from Plattsmouth Animal Shelter, enjoys basking in a sunny window, lazy afternoons on the deck and cuddling with his human companion. Chapel is owned by Lesley Jimerson of Omaha.
Follow @OWHPetParade on Twitter for more pet pictures and pet-related news from the Omaha area.
Sheep, squirrels, cows, salmon — it doesn't matter, Topaz will try to herd it. The one-year-old blue heeler is owned by Dallas Van Stratten.
Pixie, who calls North Platte home after being adopted from the Nebraska Humane Society, came to Nebraska from St. Croix after the hurricanes last year.
I wouldn't call Honey a party pooper, but the puppy is sure pooped out after a party. Honey is owned by Sarah Ferguson.
Honey was named the Week 42 Pet of the Week.
Harley, a blue heeler and mini Australian shepherd mix, is a 2-year-old owned by Crystal.
Franklin, owned by Linda Castagnoli in Omaha, was clearly very interested in looking out the window.
Frankel is excellent at the downward dog pose. Frankel is owned by Chrissy in Omaha.
Anna, a barn cat in Fort Calhoun, gets a very cozy bed with a heat lamp. To earn her keep, she ensures the barn is rodent free. She is owned by Lisa Van Stratten.
Bosley is a 13-year-old unicorn from Waterloo, owned by Dana.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Turtles in a half-shell. Turtle power. Cinderella, Digsby, Simba and Kiki are owned by Tina Acosta.
The turtles were named the special edition Pets of the Week.
Max, a bear-dog hybrid, has attitude and talks back when he doesn't get his way. He's full of personality, owner Kirsten says.
Beep, boop, bark. Moe, dressed as arf2-D2, will do anything to help owner Molly Cavalieri.
Put your paws up! There's a new sheriff ...er... schnauzer in town. Russell, owned by Keli Margritz in Aurora, loves dressing up.
Bentley, who lives in Omaha with owner Jon Dosik, has climbed 14 of Colorado's 14ers — mountains with peaks over 14,000 feet above sea level.
Jake, who lives with owner Lisa Van Stratten, is a 5-year-old Labrador retriever who loves to swim, play Frisbee, and chase anything that flies — including low-flying airplanes.
Margo, a 2-year-old golden retriever who lives with owner Brook Linderman in Gretna, loves blow dryers — even when she's not wet.
Rex, a 2-year-old shiba inu who lives with owner Kristie Kuo, loves kids and chasing rabbits. His favorite food is smoked salmon. Rex was named the Week 40 Pet of the Week.
Annie and Bear think they're lap dogs and belong on the couch. They live with the Pick family in Bennington.
Brevik loved to cuddle and sleep on his purple blanket when he was a puppy. He lives with owner Kurt Brown.
Copper is the "deadbeat" brother of Omaha Police K-9 Tye. He lives with owner Amy Oetter.
Copper was named the Week 39 Omaha World-Herald Pet of the Week!
Larry likes to snuggle and suck on owner Jay Lagge's Dallas Cowboys blanket. We're not sure what that means about his feelings toward the Dallas Cowboys.
Among Coco's favorite activities are chasing toy fish on a string and sprinting through the house toward her cat tree, then nonchalantly lying down as if nothing happened.
This is Greta, a Boston terrier. According to owner Stephanie Snell, this picture is what “crazy happy” looks like.
Greta was named the Week 38 Pet of the Week!
Even though Pearl is 11 years old, owners Lauren and Bob Walker of Omaha say she's still a frisky kitty. She likes to "hide" in the tub during play time, or when she's had enough of her humans brushing her.
Riley, who lives with Adrienne Strode in Lincoln, was rescued from the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha.
Jax's owner, Angie Kolvek, says Jax is a "lazy little sack of bones," but if he wants a treat, he's willing to give out high fives.
Lilly was rescued from a dog mill about five years ago, her owner Tammy Janzen says, and while she may have had a rough start to life "she's is the absolute sweetest dog, and only has eyes for me."
Luna and Makemake hopped into our DMs on Twitter, then straight into our hearts. They live with owner Sara Meehan.
Sam Adams is a 2 1/2-year-old Boston terrier/Frenchie mix who is ready to win over Omaha with his adorable head tilt, owners Carly and Jon Tefft say. His coloring makes him look like he’s always wearing a tux, so he’s always ready for a fancy affair.
Sam Adams was named the Week 37 Pet of the Week!
Leroy Lankins’ favorite things are America and catnip, owner Kylie Strode says.
Marlie and Madi, a pair of pulis with Canadian showdog lineage, live with owners Brook and Bruce Aken in Omaha.
Stephanie Halstead says her funny and playful kitten Rory loves to cuddle.
Murphy, who lives with owner Anna Carnazzo in Papillion, enjoys running through screen doors and sneaking up onto the bed.
Tucker, who lives with owner Staci Dannenberg, loves bananas.
Tucker was named the Week 36 Pet of the Week!
Apache, stunning in a yellow raincoat and matching boots, loves swimming. Apache's favorite pastime is removing pillows from couches and beds and relocating them to the floor.
This is Brix, but you can call him Dr. Brix. A certified therapy dog, Brix goes to school with his owner, a sixth grade teacher at Mockingbird Elementary in Ralston, three times a week. He even has his own school badge.
Mikey loves the Huskers, the Cowboys and sleeping. Go figure.
Penny, also known as Penny Loafer, entertains her owners by blowing bubbles in her water bowl.
Penny was named the Week 34 Pet of the Week!
Winston loves the outdoors, playing fetch, chewing on shoes and, of course, cake. This energetic pup is a social butterfly and even has his own Instagram account.
Bilbo and Pearl have accomplished what very few siblings can: take a photo in which both are smiling and neither have their eyes closed.
Chester, who celebrated his 12th birthday on Sept. 1, loves pizza (who doesn't?) and will do anything for pets (same).
You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can apparently teach a young cat an old favorite. Kaddie, a 7-month-old kitty, knows how to play fetch.
Spike's owner says there's "never a dull moment with this little guy." He's king of toys — and, apparently, the couch.
Woolly Bear, a floof of a guinea pig recently adopted from Town and Country Humane Society in Papillion, enjoys cucumbers, peppers and cilantro.
"I think, just for tonight, we should switch sleeping spots." Bandit is owned by Carol Meduna.
Charlie, a chinchilla, can be seen chinchilling in this southwest Omaha apartment. He loves watching Husker highlights and looking out the window. He's owned by Andrew Constans.
Diesel was beaten as a puppy until being rescued by Denise Bradshaw. The love bug pug is regarded as a "silly clown."
Sheldon O. Cooper, seen here posing for senior portraits, is a long-haired ginger tabby that loves watching National Geographic Wild with owner Mary Vedder in Bellevue.
Sheldon was named the Week 32 Pet of the Week!
Zazzles never fails to dazzle. He's regarded as a strong high jumper and a champion fly catcher, according to owner Mary Vedder in Bellevue — who defines her feline as "zazzy."
Gall bladders. Who needs 'em? Not Ayberk. This Turkish van cat does't have one.
Banner takes after his namesake, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner (the Incredible Hulk) — he's very smart, but sometimes his crazy side takes over.
Duke's owners have spent hundreds of dollars on different beds for this big ol' pupper, but Duke's favorite is the king-sized human kind.
Guess what day it is! For this pair of rescued camels, it's always hump day. Zebediah and Nyles live at Scatter Joy Acres in Omaha, where Zeb is known for his hump day walkabouts.
Zeb and Nyles were named the Week 31 Pet of the Week!
Flirty Ryu loves to say hi to the ladies. With those eyes, how could anyone turn him down?
Omahan Bailee has dozens of toys, owner Ann Nichols says, but she only plays with her lit