Newark, NJ - Newark dogs will now have a place to run loose and frolic with their canine pals in the safety of an enclosed dog run in Branch Brook Park.

County officials cut the ribbon today on a 30,000-square-foot dog park located along the park roadway in the Northern Division of the park near the Parks Department Maintenance Facility

"We are happy to work with the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association, which came to us with the idea for a dog park in Branch Brook," said Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, who joined with other elected officials, including Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz and North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr., at the opening of the park.

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"The development of the dog park transforms an underutilized section of the park into a vibrant location where community members and their canine pets can gather and socialize," DiVincenzo said. 

Ramos noted the Branch Brook Dog Park is not only the first such park in the North Ward, but in all of Newark.

“This dog park is just one more way that we’re improving the quality of life for residents of the city,” Ramos said. “Having campaigned throughout the North Ward, I know how much people love their dogs and how much they love to socialize with other dog owners. I’m positive this is going to become an extremely popular attraction in the park.”

Branch Brook Dog Park is the fifth dog run created in the Essex CountyParks System under the direction of DiVincenzo.

"The opening of the Branch Brook Dog Park marks the ongoing mission of Essex County government that is acting on behalf of the needs of the community," said state Sen. M. Teresa Ruis, who is also a deputy chief of staff for the county executive. "The improvement like the one today continues the sentiment of our parks' history while fulfilling the modern day needs of the community."

Councilman At Large Luis Quintana, who also resides in the North Ward, said the DiVincenzo is a leader who gets things done.

"This project is another example of how he puts the needs of the community first," Quintana said.

The dog park is divided into two sections: one for small dogs that is about 11,000 square feet and one for large dogs that is about 19,000 square feet. The area for larger dogs has 12 stations on which the dogs can run and climb and the area for small dogs has nine stations. Drainage at the site has been improved and water fountains for humans and canines have been installed. 

The entrance to the dog park consists of a double fence to prevent unleashed dogs from running way. A designated crosswalk was created at the entrance to enhance safety for dog owners and their pets who park and cross the street. 

Trees were pruned and dead trees were removed; trash receptacles, dog bag dispensers, dog washing stations and park benches were installed.

Mott MacDonald from Iselin was awarded a professional contract for $42,700 to design the Branch Brook Dog Park. Picerno Giordano from Kenilworth was awarded a public bid for $589,159 to perform the construction work. The Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Board awarded a grant to fund the project. Construction began in May and was completed in three months.

The dog park is accessible from the Heller Parkway entrance to Branch Brook. 

The first public event to be held at the Branch Brook Dog Park will be one of the County's Strut Your Mutt Canine Costume Parade and Contest on Saturday, October 19th.