By Alethia Kasben
Entirely East Lansing staff writer
East Lansing is a pet-loving community. Residents often take their pets to the Farmer’s Market and art festivals around the city, and they even have a park to let their pets run off-leash all year round.
The Northern Tail Dog Park, located at 6400 Abbot Road, is a great place for dogs to get some socialization and exercise. The park is behind the Aquatic Center next to the softball complexes.
“The dog park is very popular,” said Wendy Wilmers-Longpre, assistant director of Parks, Recreation and Arts. “More and more people are becoming pet owners and a lot of them live in apartments and rental units. Their dogs still need exercise.”
The dog park is great for the dogs and for the owners; it is a place where the owners share a common interest and bond at the park she said.
“I bring my roommate’s dog a lot,” said Kurt Manuel, a former MSU student. “I like how nice people are to you and everyone can just stand around and talk about dogs.”
The park was created because owners were using Daily Park, as an off-leash park and the dogs were making a mess near kid’s equipment, Wilmers-Longpre said.
“We needed to get them a place to take their dogs,” she said.
Those who go the dog park are very grateful to have the park in their community.
“I love that we have this resource,” said Nathan Arnold, an East Lansing residents who uses the dog park at least three times a week.
“I bring my 1-year-old adopted dog Rambo here a lot,” he said. “It is a good place for him to blow off some steam. Even if I ran I couldn’t go as fast as he does full speed. He needs this.”
With more students getting pets, the dog park is becoming a more popular place, Wilmers-Longpre said.
Arnold agrees, he said that a lot of his friends who are students want to get pets.
“I will definitely tell them about the dog park,” he said. “I think the main way dog owners find out about the park in through word of mouth.”
“Last year we put in a new entrance,” she said. “This year, the original entrance will be closed, so that we can plant some new grass and bring life back into it.”
Manuel said he thinks the change to the front entrance is a good idea.
“The front entrance is a little beaten up,” he said. “I appreciate that the city isn’t going to ignore the park. It’s kind of hidden in a corner, so it would be easy to just put it here and forget about it.”