(Nov. 6, 2020) Residents and visitors may expect to see some changes at the 94th Street dog playground, as the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department will use a $100,000 grant to add more features for its canine visitors.
The Ocean City Dog Playground, located behind Little Salisbury Park, officially opened in 2008 and has since provided a space for dog owners to let their pets roam free. The dog playground has been renovated once before.
“We always have known that the dog playground really wasn’t satisfying the needs of the community because the site itself was so wet,” Recreation and Parks Director Susan Petito said. “Nearly half of the available space that we had was not usable because it was a very marshy area that we had to basically fence off because the dogs going in that area were getting really dirty.”
To rectify the issue, the department applied for a $140,000 Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Community Parks and Playground grant in 2018 to improve the area’s storm drain infrastructure and make the space more dog-friendly.
“Unfortunately, we did not get that grant that we applied for in 2018,” Petito said. Nevertheless, Petito said the city was able to use the expertise of the public works department and existing materials to make primary improvements to the park, specifically the relocation of the storm water pond and increase the usable space.
“We went from about 9,500 square feet of usable space to 15,000 that we were able to do in-house,” Petito said.
Nevertheless, Petito said department felt as if the dog playground, as well as the downtown recreation complex between Third and Fourth streets, needed the most attention of the city’s parks.
So, the department applied for another grant in August 2019, but this time it requested $108,620. The city learned of its award allocation this September, Petito said.
“The hope with this grant is to make some additional improvements to address some of the needs of the community,” Petito said. “Add a water feature, add an agility feature [and] add a larger shade amenity.”
Petito said the department is working with the city’s engineering department and that Engineering Manager Paul Mauser was working on the design.
“Our goal is to actually have the construction process start in January and we expect it to be a couple month process, so the park will be closed from January definitely through March, maybe through April,” Petito said. “But we hope to be open with brand spanking new improvements at the park.”
To use the dog playground, owners must first fill out an application at the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department at 200 125th Street.
The department offers a variety of options — one-day passes are $5, resident annual passes are $50, nonresident annual passes are $100, resident half-year passes are $30, non-resident half-year passes are $60 and a seven-day access pass is $15.
For more information visit https://oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/recreation-parks/dog-playground/