WATERLOO | Downtown Waterloo's four-legged residents have a new space to run around.
A downtown dog park, Wiggly Field, is officially opening Wednesday with a ribbon cutting and celebration.
Wiggly Field, located directly across from the Black's Building in the 500 block of Sycamore Street, will be an off-leash dog park. The site has been part of a park adjacent to Regions Bank for years.
About $50,000 in improvements were made to a portion of the park, now called Newton's Park, to make it friendly for dogs, said David Deeds, controller for JSA Development, which built the park.
Fencing, sprinklers, light, a trash bin for dog waste and improvements to the grass and landscaping were funded by JSA Development.
"It gives pet owners a place they can let their dogs off leash without having to load them into a car and drive somewhere," said Kristina Miller-Bergman, director of marketing and projects.
JSA has 34 residential tenants in downtown buildings. About one-third of them own dogs, Miller-Bergman added. More apartments are planned, and a place to let a dog run nearby is a nice amenty, Deeds and Miller-Bergman said.
The park isn't just for the pets. Pet owners and downtown residents can get to know each other while their canines run around.
"We want to build a sense of community," Deeds said. "We think this is a good way to do that."
The Greater Cedar Valley Chamber and Alliance will hold a ribbon cutting to officially open the park at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The event will also include appetizers, beverages and dog treats. The Cedar Bend Humane Society will be there with its new mobile adoption vehicle.
The park will be access-controlled with an electronic lock. JSA residential tenants will get access to the park. Anyone else who wants to use it can get access for $60 per year. That can be purchased at Newton's Paradise Cafe on Fourth Street.
The dog park is part of overall planned improvements to the park, Deeds added. It's a centrally-located green space many people downtown use, he added.
"It's kind of downtown's yard," he said.