Maui News

Upcountry Off-Leash Dog Park Grand Opening Dec. 5

November 30, 2015, 4:10 PM HST
* Updated December 1, 7:50 AM
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Aerial view of the future location of the Upcountry Dog Park. Photo credit Tony Lathrop of Paradise Aerial Photography.

Aerial view of the future location of the Upcountry Dog Park. Photo credit Tony Lathrop of Paradise Aerial Photography.

The public is invited to celebrate the long-awaited grand opening of the Upcountry Dog Park in Makawao on Saturday, Dec. 5, beginning at 9 a.m.

Maui’s largest dog park will promote canine socialization and exercise.

The new facility is located in the Eddie Tam complex on two acres of gently sloping land off Hale Kipa Road behind the Maui County Recycling Center.

Mayor Alan Arakawa, County Council Chair Mike White, Department of Parks & Recreation Supervisor Sue Kiang, Department of Parks & Recreation Deputy Director Brianne Savage and UDP President Fred Fisher will serve as the event speakers.

The blessing will be conducted by Kahu Alalani Hill.

Upcountry Dog Park ADA parking and double gates.

Upcountry Dog Park ADA parking and double gates. Debra Lordan photo.

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Vendors at the event will include the Friends of the Upcountry Dog Park, who will be selling UDP T-shirts to raise money for additional benches, additional signage and a bulletin board.

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The Maui Humane Society will conduct dog licensing, and Valley Isle Rescue and Your Vet Maui will offer information.

The off-leash park is the result of a partnership between Maui County officials and members of the Friends of the Upcountry Dog Park Committee that began in 2006.

After ongoing dialogue between the county Department of Parks & Recreation and the Friends of Upcountry Dog Park Committee, the groups began laying the groundwork for an off-leash dog park through a county ordinance change in 2008.

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The county and committee agreed on the location for the park—the formerly unused county property in Makawao—and grading, cleaning, clearing, tree removal and fence installation commenced early this year. Much of the natural vegetation and trees remain, with the addition of grassy areas and low-maintenance trees and other vegetation.

Upcountry Dog Park water fountains for owners and dogs alike. Debra Lordan photo.

Upcountry Dog Park water fountains for owners and dogs alike. Debra Lordan photo.

The park includes six-foot fences, double gates between separate areas for large and small dogs, drinking water for dogs and owners alike, benches, bag dispensers and trash containers. The double-entry gate assures that the other dogs cannot escape when a new dog enters.

The new facility includes plentiful parking, accessible from Hale Kipa Road, and includes ADA-compliant spots.

The Friends of Upcountry Dog Park Committee and its volunteers have been very active throughout the planning process, from soliciting members and funds, writing letters to county officials, helping to draft off-leash park administrative rules, attending county-organized informational meetings, participating in the Makawao Fourth of July Paniolo Parade and a Bark in the Park event in Kīhei, testifying at county budget hearings and participating in work days to clean up the site.

“The Maui County Department of Parks and Recreation and the Friends of Upcountry Dog Park Committee forged a true partnership and this is a fine example of how community organizations and local government can work together to achieve positive things for us all,” said Fisher.

The UDP Committee credits Deputy Director Savage with securing necessary resources to accomplish completion of the park.

Upcountry Dog Park -Eddie Tam rules. Debra Lordan photo.

Upcountry Dog Park -Eddie Tam rules. Debra Lordan photo.

Upcountry Dog Park rules are posted at the park’s entrance; dog owners will be required to follow them, allowing for the comfort and safety of all visitors.

Responsible owner will make a visit to the park beforehand to ascertain if their dog is ready for the dog park experience. Dog owners must have voice control of their pets at all times. An aggressive dog must immediately be removed from the park by its owner.

Dogs must be licensed as is required by Maui County Code. Dogs can be licensed at the event or at the Maui Humane Society. Bring proof from your veterinarian that your dog being neutered or spayed and a dog license will cost $7; otherwise the cost is $31.

Dogs should be free of fleas and ticks, and have up-to-date vaccinations.

“The current board of the Friends of the Upcountry Dog Park Committee is very grateful to past board members and everyone in the county Department of Parks & Recreation for their hard work and commitment to the completion of the park,” said Fisher. “It has been a very successful example of citizens and government working together for the benefit of the entire community. There has been much support from the people of Upcountry Maui and they look forward to enjoying the park with their canine companions.”

The Upcountry Dog Park at Eddie Tam will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information or to make a donation for benches, additional signage and a bulletin board, call Fisher at (808) 298-7402.

 

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