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Pair of dog parks will be opening at Luscher

by: Group Mackenzie,  Hazelia Field at Luscher Farm will include two dog parks (red arrows) and a multi-use field (blue arrow).

The long awaited off-leash dog parks at Luscher Farm are due to open this spring.

The dog parks are part of a larger $3.8 million development that includes a multi-use athletic field, play area and enhanced wetland.

Designed by Group MacKenzie, the area will be called Hazelia Field at Luscher Farm. (Named after hazel trees in the area).

Dogs and their owners will have a choice of a 1.1-acre park and a 1.6-acre park.

The first park will be for more timid pooches and the second park will be for bolder, often-larger dogs who yearn to roam free and run fast.

There will also be drinking water for dogs and people and covered shelters in each park. Additional features will be double gates entering and exiting the parks and trash receptacles.

The city won't plant trees for the dog parks, but existing trees, including Douglas firs, will be kept.

The artificial turf athletic field will be lighted and used for soccer, football and lacrosse. It is due to open in early February.

The entrance to the parks will be at the intersection of Stafford and Overlook roads.

The city is waiting for recently planted grass to fill in.

Meantime, dog owners have been using a temporary, three-acre off-leash park at the turnaround at Atherton and Stafford roads. That park uses bark chips, while the new park will use grass.

Jerry Knippel, special projects director for the city, said the grass will probably get torn up by the dogs.

'We'll have an ongoing maintenance program of overseeding,' said Knippel.

He said irrigation systems will help re-establish grass during the year.

The new parks will be open from dawn to dusk.

The temporary off-leash area will most likely be turned into a park, Knippel said.