PAXTON — It's hard to tell who is more excited about the city's dog park opening later this month: Jon and Angie Russell or their American foxhounds, Lily and Rascal.
"They're having a blast," Jon Russell said Monday, as his dogs gave the new fenced-in facility at Coady Park a test run.
The Russells and other members of the volunteer-run Paxton Dog Park Committee spent over a year planning the dog park with the Paxton Park District's board of commissioners and raising more than $17,000 in donations to pay for its fencing and equipment.
On Saturday, Oct. 19, their hard work will finally pay off, when the dog park is officially opened to pet owners and their animals. It will be open daily, year-round, from dawn to dusk.
"Hopefully, it becomes a nice destination for a lot of people," Paxton Park District Recreation Director Neal McKenry said.
Memberships to the dog park will help fund the improvements to the dog park, as well as maintenance at the facility.
Memberships are already on sale for $30 per year for Paxton residents and $40 for non-residents, McKenry said.
Member dogs must have a Paxton Dog Park tag to wear while spending time at the dog park. The tags can be purchased at the Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St.
The rules for the dog park — which will be posted on site — closely follow the rules at other established dog parks, such as the one in Urbana. A full list of rules as well as membership forms are available at http://www.paxtonparkdistrict.com.