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East Lansing dog park will close for the winter

Posted at 11:36 AM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 11:36:24-05

As the colder weather settles in, humans and their furry friends are soaking up every last minute at Northern Tail Dog Park in East Lansing before it closes for the winter.

The city of East Lansing said the wear and tear on the ground is a lot worse during the freeze-thaw cycle.

However, owners said their dogs don't take a break during the winter so why should the park?

"For a high energy dog to run free, there aren't a lot of places like that. And it's not the same to walk around the block," said Max's owner.

That's why dogs like Max and Russel, are going to miss the park when it closes on Dec. 3.

"Russel loves it, he doesn't want to go home. After the park a lot of times he likes to walk around by the softball and the woods area along the bike trail too," said Don Wilcox, Russel's owner.

The city of East Lansing has decided in order to keep the park next to the aquatic center looking nice for its furry friends it will be closed for four months.

"You get the freeze and the thaw and what happens is it gets really muddy out there and it gives the turf a hard time to recover so it provides us a little bit of opportunity to not have to deal with as much turf renovation on a regular basis," said Tim McCaffrey, East Lansing Parks & Recreation Ddirector.

However, dogs can tear up the grass during the rest of the year too, so why close for winter only?

McCaffrey said the ground is more fragile this time of year, and he's learned that from previous years.

" Fall 2017 because of the condition the continued deterioration of the park over a number of years. We were getting a series of complaints about how poorly the condition of the park was becoming. So we ended up closing it from September 2017 all the way up till about May of 2018 to do an extensive and expensive renovation,"

Owners have to enjoy the last couple weeks here while they search for alternatives.

"This has been our favorite spot for so long, I guess just walks on the leash downtown, " said Max's owner.

"We go to Soldan's dog park in Lansing, we will probably check out the dog park in DeWitt, but this one is really convenient for us because we live just a few miles away from here, so it's disappointing,"

The park will open back up April 8, 2019

Soldan's dog park at Lansing's Hawk Island will remain open year-round during its normal business hours.