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McBean Park gets canine playground

Leadership class builds dog park
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Lincoln’s McBean Park is now a bit friendlier to man’s best friend.

The newest addition at 65 McBean Park Drive is a dog park, unveiled Sunday morning. The new dog park is between McBean Park’s basketball courts and skate park. It is the second dog park in Lincoln, with the first in the middle of Auburn Ravine Park at 1300 Green Ravine Drive.

Building the park was a project of the 2017-2018 Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class. Each class is required to complete a public-service project.

Lincoln resident Jason Price, a leadership class member, said he and his fellow students met once a month for the class and project planning.

“Planning the project took roughly six months,” Price said Sunday. “As far as work goes, it took five or so people working on the project for five solid days.”

The idea for the dog park, also known as the bark park, originated with the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee and the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department.

“When our class visited the city corporation yard, (Public Services director) Jennifer Hanson suggested the dog park in McBean,” Price said.

A long list of donors helped make the dog park happen, according to Price.

“Some donated time, some donated materials and some donated both. They were all really generous,” Price said. “We broke the project into five smaller goals but the heaviest lifting was done at the end by Janet Voris and Ana Placios.”

“I heard this was the biggest project attempted by a leadership class,” Price added. “We bit off quite a bit and we are still chewing. I’m very proud it happened and that people care about it.”

The McBean Bark Park is close to parking.

“Being close to parking is important, especially for older folks or older dogs,” Price said. “It’s nice it is so accessible and in the middle of town. It was a lot of work but seeing people enjoy the park makes it worth it.”

Lincoln Parks and Recreation Committee chairman Richard Moore said the committee noticed a lack of places for dogs in Lincoln.

“The committee developed a wish list for the parks and a dog park for McBean was on the list,” Moore said. “The Lincoln Leadership class made our wish come true today.”

Lincoln Mayor Stan Nader called the dog park a “very special project” and a “huge addition to the park.”

“It’s important to create social places for citizens to gather,” Nader said. “Just as people need to be social, so do dogs.”