Dog lovers to head west with City of Newcastle unveiling plans for new fenced off-leash dog park

City of Newcastle

Maryland will become home to the city’s newest fenced off-leash dog park, with City of Newcastle unveiling a multi-stage masterplan featuring dedicated areas for both large and small canines.

The new facility will be located at Maryland Drive Reserve adjacent to the existing unfenced, leash-free area.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes with Councillors Elizabeth Adamczyk and Deahnna Richardson at the existing unfenced off-leash area at Maryland.

A concept design for the site, which is now on public exhibition for community feedback, incorporates two large, fenced areas that will provide separate spaces for different sized dogs to enjoy.

Shelters with tables, informal sandstone seating, dog bubblers and extensive landscaping including trees for shade, will provide added comfort for pets and their owners, while concrete pathways and a formalised car park with accessible parking will ensure the facility is suited to all dog-lovers.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the project will be delivered in three stages, with the first fenced area and amenities expected to be complete by mid-2023.

“With more than 63,000 dogs registered in our city, we know Novocastrians are passionate about their canine companions and want spaces where their four-legged friends can safely exercise and mix with other pets,” Cr Nelmes said.

“City of Newcastle is committed to providing a variety of off-leash options throughout Newcastle and has already delivered the city’s first fully fenced off-leash dog park at Acacia Avenue Reserve, as well as upgrades to the existing popular area in Islington Park.

“This new project at Maryland will provide a premier facility for dog lovers in our western suburbs, which is sure to be incredibly popular with pet owners who already make the most of the unfenced off-leash area within this reserve.”

The Maryland Dog Park forms part of the Dogs in Open Space Plan, which was adopted by City of Newcastle in 2019 to guide the provision, improvement and management of off-leash dog areas during the next 10 years.

Formalised off-leash dog areas enable people to take their dogs to a place where they can legally run free, exercise and socialise with other dogs. They also provide pet owners with a meeting place and an opportunity to connect with others in the community.

The Maryland Dog Park draft masterplan is on public exhibition until 5pm Friday 16 December, with further information and the ability for the community to have their say via City of Newcastle’s website.

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