Caroline and Hannah Lagasse, with their dog Nibbles at the new Waveland Bark Park.” 

The city of Waveland's "Bark Park" is now open to the public, Waveland Mayor Mike Smith announced Tuesday.

"I'm real excited about it," he said. "I didn't realize the excitement that the citizens would feel."

Smith said the park was paid utilizing grant funds.

Barbara Coatney, assistant project director with Hancock County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), wrote the grant for the city, Smith said.

Smith said the city was awarded $14,000, which paid for everything, except for the water fountains.

The water fountains are also expected to be delivered by the end of this week, he added.

Waveland City Clerk Mickey Lagasse said the dog park is located adjacent to the softball field on Central Avenue.

The park features waste stations, exercise equipment for dogs, and two separate parks for small and large dogs, he said.

There are also shaded areas with benches and a non-working fire hydrant, Lagasse said.

Rules for the dog park are posted and include:

• Use park at your own risk.

• Owners are legally responsible for the behavior of their dog(s) at all times.

• Dogs must be leashed while entering and exiting the park.

• Dog waste must be cleaned up by their owners immediately.

• Owners must be within the dog park and supervising their dog with leash readily available.

• Dog handlers must be at least 16 years of age.

• Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult and supervised at all times.

• Aggressive dogs must be removed immediately.

• Dogs should be under voice control.

Things that are prohibited include:

• Human and dog food/treats.

• Glass containers.

• Dogs in heat.

• Sick dogs.

• Aggressive dogs.

• Puppies (under four months).

The dog park's listed hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the park is closed the first Wednesday of each month for maintenance.

During this week's trial period, Smith said, the response to the new park has been a positive.

"The only issue we've had is people not cleaning up after their dogs," he said.

The city plans to schedule a ribbon cutting at the park in the near future.

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