Work on off-leash areas under way at Plum's Boyce Park
Allegheny County crews have begun work on off-leash areas for dogs in Boyce Park.
Crews removed outside fencing and planted grass this month at the old ballfield in Plum off New Texas Road.
“Everything’s moving forward and going really well,” county Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Evanto said. “We’ve been doing some preliminary work, and we are posting a bid on (Aug. 10) for new fencing for both of the off-leash areas.”
Bids are due back by Sept. 7, and could be awarded in October.
Evanto said crews will install a French drain in one of the dog parks, and both will have shelters and water sources for pets and their owners. Each park will have a section for large and small dogs.
“We’re hoping that one of those shelters would be constructed this year and the second, next year,” he said. “We’re hoping to have both areas completed and ready by next spring.”
Evanto said it is possible the first park could be open this year depending on construction and weather.
“That would be a nice bonus,” he said.
The county has two dog parks in North Park, two in South Park, one in White Oak and Hartwood Acres and may start one at Settlers Cabin next year.
The two Plum parks would be in rotation, meaning one would be open at a time to extend the life of each site.
“We think it’s going to be wildly popular,” Evanto said. “All the current off-leash areas that we have are very well used. Boyce absolutely deserves an off-leash area. We like to put them in where there’s need.”
Plum resident Allison Wade saw a need for a dog park in her town in March 2017 when she brought the idea forth and created a Facebook page, “Dog Park for Plum Borough,” which has more than 1,300 members.
Her group raised about $10,000 toward the project. The dog parks cost about $100,000 each.
Plum officials formally supported the project in June 2017 with a letter to the county and established a dog park fund account at S&T Bank. Since then, the borough and county approved an agreement to create the parks and split costs.
“I give a lot of credit to Allison,” borough Manager Michael Thomas said. “She really went out of her way with the fundraisers in addition to championing the park itself. Isn’t that the way government is supposed to work? Taxpayers are supposed to come with an issue or a concern, and their leadership is supposed to address it. I think that partnering with the county is the best possible solution.”
Wade was at the site Aug. 8 with her two Rottweilers: Axl, 8 months, and Apollo, 2.
“I’m really excited it’s actually happening,” she said. “It’s been a year and a half in the making. This summer went so fast, so I’m sure fall’s going to be here before we know it. It’s cool that everybody has a place to go. You think about all the people in this area who’ve had nowhere to take their dogs for forever. Having somewhere close to home that they can run off leash and play is a really cool thing for the community.”
People can still join Wade’s Facebook group and donate to its GoFundMe page.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.