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New-look dog park debuts in Johns Creek
Resident won contest to pay for renovation
Dog 1 WEB
File photo

At a glance

Newtown Dream Dog Park is at 3150 Old Alabama Road in Johns Creek, near the Forsyth County line. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. All dogs, regardless of where they live, are welcome.

JOHNS CREEK — Abby bolted for the splash pad, claiming one of the water spouts as her own by flopping on her side and rolling around trying to catch every last drop of water in her thick coat.

The border collie was one of more than 150 dogs enjoying the grand opening of the Newtown Dream Dog Park on Wednesday.

“They’ve done a really good job with it,” said Sandy Thurman, Abby’s owner. “She loves the water … this is really great.”

The $500,000 dog park renovation was the brainchild of Pat McNeely and his dog Koda, who won the national Beneful WagWorld Dream Dog Park competition.

“Pat and Koda’s ideas really stood out,” said Beneful spokeswoman Allison Jones. “Not only were they fun and creative, they thought of everything, from tunnels to climbing structures to water features. But it also demonstrates the special bond Pat and Koda had.”

The grand opening event featured treats, gift bags, snacks  and a first look at the new features of the park, including a paw-shaped splash pad, as well as an artificial turf oasis and other play structures.

The park was divided in two sections for both large and small dogs.

Design expert and host of the DIY Network’s show Man Caves Jason Cameron, who oversaw the park’s renovation, talked about the unique features, including the artificial grass, which will absorb dog leavings and rain and other natural elements.

Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker read a proclamation and thanked McNeely for “dreaming big on behalf of our entire community.”

“This dog park is going to be one of the crown jewels of our park system,” he said. “We’re honored and grateful to be the recipients of such a generous gift.”

So were residents of Johns Creek and neighboring communities.

“I love it,” said Suzanne Murphy, who attended the event with her Morkie, Wolfgang, and Yorkie, Lester. “It’ll be nice letting them loose in an area where it’s not just dirt and a little bit of grass.”