The City of Knoxville and PetSafe officials opened a new off-leash dog park this week in Holston River Park, located at 3300 Holston Hills Road
The one-acre dog park, accessed near the southernmost parking lot of Holston River Park, was funded through PetSafe’s $500,000, five-year commitment to build dog parks within Knoxville and Knox County.
Owners will have the option of releasing their dogs within either a large or small dog section of the new fenced-in, off-leash dog park. Other features include a human water fountain with a dog-level water bowl and spout, benches, and dog waste stations.
The City’s Holston River Park in East Knoxville is receiving the final installment of the PetSafe partnership with the City of Knoxville and Knox County, marking a dog park within every region of Knoxville. PetSafe also previously funded the PetSafe Downtown Dog Park and Charter Doyle PetSafe Dog Park (South Knoxville) within City limits.
In Knox County, PetSafe funds helped to build a dog park in Tommy Schumpert Park (North Knoxville) and another in Concord Park (West Knoxville).
“We’ve always encouraged Knoxville residents to view city parks as an extension of their own back yards,” said Joe Walsh, Director of Knoxville Parks and Recreation. “Providing a place for pets to roam off-leash is an extension of that vision, and we’re glad to finally be offering the opportunity in every area of town.”
PetSafe’s initiative to build dog parks in Knoxville grew out of a commitment on the company’s part to make Knoxville the “Most Pet-Friendly Community” in the country.
PetSafe CEO Randy Boyd started a Most Pet-Friendly Committee, working with the City of Knoxville and Knox County to pursue the objective. From this effort came initiatives such as the “Dogs on Patios” permit, which allows dogs to be present with their owners in certain outdoor serving areas.
“Creating a fun, quality environment for people to enjoy their pets is a key part to making our community the most pet-friendly in America,” Boyd said. “Serendipitously, we also have discovered that dog parks are also a great place to build community among people, too. All ages, incomes, genders and ethnicities come together on a common bench and enjoy their pets and build friendships.”
In 2011, Dog Fancy Magazine named Knoxville the “Most Dog-Friendly City in the Southeast.”
Knoxville Parks and Recreation oversaw construction of the dog park project at Holston River Park. They contracted Volunteer Lawn for the landscaping, East Tennessee Fence Company for the fencing, Nails Creek Landscaping for the decorative rock, and Concrete Services for the canine-themed concrete entrance pad.
The City’s Public Service Department cleared the property for the dog park and installed all amenities, including a decorative fire hydrant donated by the Knoxville Utilities Board.
For more information on dog parks in Knoxville, please visit www.cityofknoxville.org/recreation.
By Wes Hall