Godown Park going to the dogs

Candy Brooks, ThisWeek Community Newspapaers

Worthington's first dog park will have areas for small and large dogs to run and play, and benches for owners to sit and watch.

Plans for The Dog Park at Godown Road were unveiled Feb. 3 at a meeting at Linworth Baptist Church before a crowd of about 25 dog owners eager to see Worthington get a dog park of its own.

Actually, it will be shared with the city of Columbus, which will partner with Worthington to build and operate the park, which is owned by Worthington but located in Columbus.

The vacant land is on the north side of Godown Road, just west of the railroad tracks. It is bound on the north and west sides by Don Scott Field.

Worthington purchased the land about 20 years ago, when the need for soccer fields was growing. It was never developed for soccer, however, and it is used only as a nursery for trees for Worthington's parks.

The east edge of the park, along the railroad tracks, will continue to be used as a nursery.

Construction of the dog park is to begin this summer and be complete by the end of the year.

It will feature a one-acre small dog area at the front, nearest Godown Road. It will be divided with a fence from the four-and-a-half acre large dog area to the north.

The large dog area will have several elevations and variations in landscaping.

"Both you and the dogs are going to want to explore the nooks and crannies," said Kathy Spatz of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.

There will also be benches, a hydrant for filling water bowls and walkways winding through the park.

At the entrance will be a paved parking lot for 50 vehicles.

Columbus has budgeted $250,000 for construction. Worthington will be responsible for operating and maintaining the park for 10 years.

The park grew out of the efforts of WOOF, an organization that formed in March 2009 with a goal of establishing a dog park in Worthington. WOOF raised funds and studied other dog parks to decide what it wanted Worthington's park to be.

It then worked with Worthington's Parks and Recreation Department to find and evaluate nine potential sites, deciding that the Godown site had most of the features it desired.

Columbus decided to join in the effort because it was looking for a site for a dog park on the city's north side, Spatz said.

For now, the park is being called the Dog Park at Godown Road, but a contest may be held to come up with a new name.