Dog owners and lovers, rejoice! On Wednesday morning, plans for a dog park near downtown Grand Rapids were approved by the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority. The approved grant of $25,000 focuses on an empty lot behind Founders Brewing Co., which is currently owned by Maplegrove Properties. Grand Rapids mayor Rosalynn Bliss stands behind the decision, saying that she believes that Grand Rapids could strive towards being a more dog-friendly city and that the new dog park will attract more people to the downtown area.

The new dog park, located on Market Avenue, will become one of three in the city; it joins Hillcrest Dog Park and Covell Dog Park, which are both located on the northeast side of the city. The new park is expected to open in May, complete with 6-foot fences, separate areas for large and small dogs, trash cans, and planter boxes.

Bliss believes that those who visit and use the new dog park will "make sure they hold each other accountable" for the use of the park and planter boxes. Volunteers with the downtown ambassador program will also assist in keeping the park clean.

There's only one little downside. As of right now, the dog park is intended to be a temporary, one-year fixture. The Downtown  Development board is expected to evaluate its success after one year, and will decide the future of the park from there. Mayor Bliss has high hopes for the park, saying, "We can try it, we can test it out, we can see if its heavily utilized, and we can learn from the experience."

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