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Port St. Lucie is finally joining other Treasure Coast communities with its first off-leash dog park. In response to resident demand, the city will open Lyngate Dog Park on Tuesday, free to the public. The only other dog park currently in the city is in the town of Tradition and is members-only.

Although there are five parks where owners can walk their dogs on a leash, Lyngate Dog Park, at 1301 S.E. Lyngate Drive in Port St. Lucie, is thefirst off-leash dog park. The cost of
$100,000 to build the fenced park will come from lease payments from a cellphone tower adjacent to Lyngate Park, off Southeast Veteran Memorial Parkway.

The park is centrally located within the city and there is no playground or ball field near the site. The area has three fenced-in compounds: one for small dogs up to 30 pounds, one for larger dogs and a third that will remain closed and be used if one of the other compounds is in maintenance.A playground offers dog agility stations with tubes that dogs can crawl in, elevated dog walks, jumping bars and hoops.

Owners can bring their dogs at their own risk, as the site will be unmanned. All dogs must have current licenses and vaccinations. Dogs that are aggressive or in heat are not allowed.Doggy waste bags and disposal containers will be provided for free and owners are required to pick up after pets.

This is such good news for dog owners. I can remember many happy hours spent at dog parks, walking and playing with my dog, Nigel, and socializing with other dog owners and even setting up “play dates” with dogs he seemed to really enjoy being with. He went to his first (and only) doggie birthday party for his special friend, Skippy, from a park in Fort Lauderdale. I hope they have benches set up where we two-legged beings can sit and relax, and perhaps make new friends of our own.

In St. Lucie County there are currently three other dog parks open to the public. The latest is situated inside the Savannas Recreation Area off Midway Road. This new fenced-in dog park features separate areas for both large and small canines.  The ADA-accessible dog park is free and open during normal passive recreation hours at the Savannas from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily. Amenities inside the new 225-foot by 75-foot canine playground include picnic tables, running water, trash cans, shade trees and concrete pipe culverts and ramps for the dogs to play on.

Constructed primarily by St. Lucie County Parks, Recreation and Facilities staff, the park’s pipe culverts for dogs to play on were salvaged from the County’s artificial reef stockpile and/or donated from the Road and Bridge Division.

Located at 1400 Midway Road, the Savannas Recreation Area offers RV and tent camping, kayak/canoe rentals, fishing, hiking trails through natural habitat, a playground, restrooms and a large, covered pavilion on Palm Island, which is perfect for parties and family reunions. For more information about this 550-acre preserve and new dog park call 772-464-7855 or visithttp://www.stlucieco.gov/parks/savannas.htm.

St. Lucie County’s additional dog parks are located at Wildcat Cove Preserve, 3399 North A1A on North Hutchinson Island and Walton Rocks Beach, 6700 South Ocean Drive, South Hutchinson Island.

For a complete list of all St. Lucie County’s parks and preserves please visit the County’s interactive map at: http://gis.stlucieco.gov/parkspreserves.