Tails are wagging across Jackson with the start of construction at Betty’s Dog Park! The City’s first-ever public dog park was celebrated Friday morning with a groundbreaking event attended by City officials, residents, and four-legged furry friends.
When work is complete later this summer, the park will be fully fenced, with separate areas for big and small dogs to roam free, including sidewalks, benches and picnic tables. This pooch paradise at the intersection of N. Blackstone and Van Buren streets makes use of space in Beech Tree Park, a public park that’s been without a use since its award-winning beech tree was removed due to a lightning strike.
The dog-friendly digs will be free to use and open to the public when it’s complete. Downtown Jackson has seen a housing boom in recent years, with hundreds of new apartment units added to the area. Located within a short walk from downtown, Betty’s Dog Park will be useful for downtown apartment dwellers and their pets to have ample space for play time.
The park is named after Betty Dahlem Desbiens, a long-time Jackson resident who donated funds to make the park possible. Desbiens attended the groundbreaking and spoke about what the park means to her. “Thank you to everyone for helping make a dream of mine come true,” Desbiens said.
Mayor Derek Dobies attended the groundbreaking with his dog, a pug named Sir Woof. He said this will be a great place for Sir Woof and other Jackson dogs to romp around. “Having a dog park placed centrally in the City makes a lot of sense of our downtown residents and people all over Jackson,” Mayor Dobies said. “I thank Betty for helping make this dog park possible.”
Event attendees were encouraged to wear face coverings and social distance. The event was also live streamed on the City Facebook page for residents to safely participate from home.