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Advertisement K9 Acres 'Leash-Cutting' this weekend
by Nancy Grindle · June 7th, 2013

All dog lovers and residents of the entire area are invited to attend the "leash-cutting" of the new off-leash dog park, K9 Acres, at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 8.

K9 Acres is located in Squaw Creek Park just north of Gardner Golf Course.

Treats will be provided for people and their canine companions. Many local dog businesses and clubs will be in attendance. There will be door prizes, a mini-agility course, permits for sale and more.

Recall tests will be held from 11 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. (A recall test is a check to be sure that your dog will always come to you when called.)

K9 Acres is an 11-acre fenced area where owners can take their dogs to run and play off their leashes. It is divided into three use areas. The largest is the Main Off-Leash Yard, which is approximately 8 acres in size and has a walking trail, waste receptacles, trees and a storage building. Eventually the area will have benches and small shelters, too.

The second largest is a Training Yard, which is not quite 2 acres in size. Its purpose is to provide an area to train dogs that aren't fully socialized enough to use the main area. It also will be used for training classes and other events.

The smallest area, the Small Dog Yard, is just over one acre. This grassy space provides a safe area for smaller dogs to run without the danger of inadvertently being hurt by larger dogs in the Main Dog Area.

One of the notable features of K9 Acres is the double-gated, split entry and exit system. It allows dogs to pass each other safely as they go to and from the Main Yard. At present, the two smaller yards have single gates, but the double-gate system is planned for them in the future.

The force behind the creation of K9 Acres is K9Cola (Citizens for Off-Leash Areas), a volunteer group that supports the development of off-leash areas in the greater Cedar Rapids area. It has no paid staff, no dues, and according to Chairman Marie Appel, "Everything we do results from one or more volunteers stepping up and getting us involved. We have a great board of directors and volunteers that make a lot happen for canines ... Thank you to all the people and organizations that made this [park] possible!"

The site at Squaw Creek was selected in August 2008 after flooding at the large Cheyenne Park on Cedar Rapids' southeast side. (Cheyenne has been closed because of flooding this week, too.)

People can purchase an annual permit which is good at both dog parks. The cost is $27 per year per dog. However, dog owners can receive up to two $5 discounts off that price. There is a $5 discount if a dog passes the recall test. Another is $5 off for a spayed/neutered dog. And yet another is for each additional dog (after one) in a multi-dog household.

Others on the board include Ken Ennis, vice chairman and coordinator; Colleen Martens, treasurer; Kelly Ennis, secretary; Jesse Martinez and Joni Wallace, public ed/social media co-coordinators; Jill Rowe, volunteer; Kate Getty, fundraising coordinator, and Jan Dyson and Alisa Barbour, at-large board members.

K9Cola's newsletters, information about events, maps of the dog parks, etc., can be found at its website and also on its Facebook page.
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