Work begins on Paso dog park

Construction began last week on Paso Robles’ new off-leash dog park on the city’s east side.

Sherwood Dog Park, developed through local volunteers, will be on vacant, city-owned land at Scott Street and Creston Road.

The park, which is in the beginning stages of site grading, will open in April, weather permitting. The project will operate off a five-year lease with the city through the San Luis Obispo Parks Open Space & Trails Foundation’s Parks-4-Pups committee and will depend on donations. No city funds will be used.

The park’s logo shows a playful pup — its ears blowing in the wind — soaring through the air in a yellow airplane. It’s a throwback to the history of the land, which was once part of a military training area called Sherwood Field at the city’s first airport before the airport relocated to its current location off Highway 46 East.

The name Sherwood then carried over to Sherwood Park, where a residential neighborhood, a playground and sports fields stand today.

“We think it’s important to honor the aviation heritage of our new dog park and runway ‘where dogs take flight,’ ” committee President Paula O’Farrell said in a recent group newsletter on the dog park’s new slogan.

Parks-4-Pups has long wanted to open a dog park in Paso Robles, a city that doesn’t allow canines in its public parks. In 2010, the project was first slated for Larry Moore Park along the Salinas River, but the Sherwood neighborhood was more welcoming of the project. The roughly 1-acre site is modeled after the group’s Vineyard Dog Park in Templeton, which is fenced in and includes benches, trees and wood-chip ground cover.

Sherwood will be the ninth dog park in San Luis Obispo County, two of which are run by Parks-4-Pups.

“Part of the thrill of building a new dog park is discovering the amazing support from individuals and the business community,” O’Farrell said.

Time is among the donations that helped Sherwood Dog Park get off the ground. It has been donated in the form of services such as engineering plans to meet disabled access requirements, architecture services, and site preparation. Donations also have included physical items. Additional donations of a tool shed, picnic tables, park benches, landscaping and a notice kiosk are also being sought.

The public can donate funds through the group’s website at www.parks4pups.org.