Sanford is looking for contractors to completely revamp "Paw Park."
The 15-year-old city-owned park, a longtime destination for residents from Seminole County and beyond to bring their dogs, is getting a total makeover. What was once a field with some trees where dogs could run freely will now add a multitude of tailored offerings, and have an emblematic gateway to greet its visitors.
Part of the revitalization is out for bid: the entryway that will be made of brick with a cement overlay and topped with a metal arch that says Paw Park, with a paw in the middle.
Contractors are also needed for the interior of the 1.2-acre dog run to piece together the many offerings the park will have for its canine visitors. The design work was done by Littlejohn Engineering Co.
The park, on U.S. 17-92 between Fourth and Fifth streets, will have walking paths, with doggy bone-shaped islands, doggie tunnels, small bridges, hoops and a water fountain shaped like a fire hydrant that sprays mist.
Planners are even looking into having a tree cut and shaped into a dog and a cat.
The city is paying the revitalization's $230,000 cost through grants and recreational impact fees that are charged for new residential development.
The idea behind the revamping is to help keep Sanford a destination and broaden its appeal to new residents. There is not another dog run like Paw Park for miles, and it is estimated by the city that 500 dogs are brought there every week.
"It's a way to bring people into the community," said Christine Dalton, the city's historic preservation officer and a community planner.
The city is in the midst of ordering the equipment for Paw Park, whose grounds have already been cleared, and hopes to have its grand opening by the end of the summer.