by Andrea Cole

Associate Editor

Stow -- Dog owners can spend Memorial Day with their canine friends in the city's newest attraction -- Bow Wow Beach.

Stow Parks and Recreation Director Nick Wren said the finishing touches on the city's first dog park were completed last week, and it is ready for visitors. An official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for June 30 at 11 a.m. during the Stow Pride Festival.

"We sent an e-mail to 60 dog park enthusiasts who have contacted me," said Wren. "We told them to let people know the park is opening. I also receive 15 to 20 phone calls a day regarding the opening."

Mayor Karen Fritschel said she is excited about the new facility.

"The city has received a number of calls about the dog park," she said. "I think this will please a lot of dog owners. It's another good addition to Stow. If I still had a dog, I would use the park."

The 7.5 acre fenced-in dog park is in Silver Springs Park at 5070 Stow Road.

The dog park features a sandy beach that leads to a 3-acre lake. The park also has a pen entrance, with separate areas for small (35 pounds and under) and large dogs, six waste deposit stations, clean drinking water and a dog washing station.

Signs with the park rules and waste receptacles were added to the park the week of May 20.

According to Wren, all dogs must be licensed and have the proper immunizations, and any dog that shows aggression must be removed from the area immediately.

Owners are liable for their dogs, and owners must have the dog's leash with them at all times.

He said the park will not include staff members, although the parks and recreation maintenance staff still will cut the grass in the park. The dog park will be open dawn to dusk, and will be closed during the winter.

Wren added he hopes to develop a volunteer committee after the park has been open for several months.

"We want to see what people who use the park think of it," he said. "We'll want to find out what they would like to see added and what they like about the park. We'll talk about fundraising efforts then."

Hudson resident Tony Bistransky said he hopes to join the volunteer committee.

"[The dog park] will be unique to this area because of the water," he said. "It's great for people in the area and for the dogs."

For more information about Bow Wow Beach, call the Stow Parks and Recreation Department at 330-689-5100.

E-mail: acole@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-686-3947