Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

The much-anticipated opening of Crescent City’s first off-leash dog park is a trial run happening today but the official opening will happen later.

The three-hour opening allow dog owners to use the park and share ideas for amenities with city officials.

Mayor Blake Inscore said said some final construction remains, and today’s opening will provide an opportunity to engage with public officials about continuing to improve the park. Those wishing to contribute products or services to the park’s improvement are encouraged to attend.

“I just think it’s a great thing, and it’s going to get used and people will enjoy it,” Inscore said Friday.

Humane Society of Del Norte President Danielle Larsen said the official grand opening of the park will be March 24.

She thanked Kevin Dittmar for the fence, Freeman Rock for discount-priced concrete and Merle Helstowski for the signs.

“Also all the wonderful volunteers and board members for helping raise funds for project, all donors that funneled money through the Humane society to make this project possible,” she said. “Last, the amazing city employees that helped on this project, they took real pride and did an amazing job.”

Approved for construction in April, 2017, the park fulfills a long-time goal that goes back to the Beachfront Master plan in 2012. Construction was paid for with a combination of community donations, Community Development Block Grant money and private donations.

The original cost was estimated to be around $300,000, but was whittled down to $32,000 by designing the project in house, rather than through a contractor, eliminating irrigation systems and other cost-cutting measures.

The soft opening starts at 10 a.m. and continues to 1 p.m. The park is off Front Street at the west end of Beachfront Park and can be accessed from the south side.