Good news for ASU downtown student dog owners and their furry friends — downtown Phoenix has a new dog park.
Sponsored by PetSmart Charities, the Thelda Williams Paw-Pup Park opened Monday in the heart of downtown Phoenix, across the street from Phoenix City Hall at 200 W. Jefferson St. on the southwest corner, just minutes away from the Downtown Phoenix campus.
The city of Phoenix held a grand opening ceremony Monday that included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Phoenix Mayor Williams, for whom the park was named, and free treats and bandanas for pups in attendance.
According to the event page, the park “represents a much-needed amenity for our changing downtown, and it’s growing residential population as well as visitors traveling with canine companions.”
Williams spoke briefly at the event, thanking the four-legged friends in attendance and their owners for coming out. She said the park will contribute to the overall community of downtown Phoenix.
“We've talked about this as a possibility for a very long time," she said. "... I don't think I brought enough treats," she said.
The park, which is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., is a temporary installment in the city but could become permanent depending on its popularity.
Ginger Spencer, public works director for the city of Phoenix, said in a livestream on the azcentral Facebook page that the park will be open for at least six months and then the city will decide whether to continue with the park.
“We definitely invite you to come out… we just love having all of our little four legged friends around,” Spencer said. “... We hopes it’s going to be around for a while.”
Michael Nowakowski, councilman for District 7, and Courtney Nush, president of the neighborhood association for downtown Phoenix, also spoke at the event.
“We heard you loud and clear," Nowakowski said, "‘We need a dog park in downtown,' and now we have one," he said.
Nush, who had her dog with her at the podium, spoke about how the community will benefit from having the park within the city.
"It's something we've been advocating for for a very long time," Nush said.
R.J. Price, chief marketing officer for downtown Phoenix, said the area is in a good location because it's near where significant residential development is happening in downtown Phoenix.
He said the park will be maintained by Downtown Phoenix Partnership staff, and the city will re-evaluate in six months whether the general up-keep and impact of the park is sustainable.
"Hopefully we can keep the park open for as long as the stars align," he said.