Tails will be wagging Tuesday as Pickwick Landing State Park celebrates the long-awaited opening of the new Paws Landing Dog Park.

A grand opening celebration for both humans and four-legged friends is set for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the dog park located beside The Lodge. Refreshments will be provided by The Lodge and there will also be dog treats for furry friends attending.

The off-leash dog park is designed to provide a comfortable and scenic place for dogs and their owners to play and enjoy nature. Separate areas are designated for smaller and larger dogs and the facility includes pavilions, exercise/agility equipment, water stations for the animals, benches for owners to relax while their animals play, and disposal facilities for pet waste.

Marcus Anderson, president of the Friends of Pickwick Landing State Park volunteer group said they’re thrilled to see the park finally open as they’ve had requests for many years from both area residents and visitors for a place for their animals to play at the picturesque park along the water. The newly renovated Lodge at the park offers five designated pet-friendly rooms allowing pets to stay with their owners and the park is located close to those rooms.

Paws Landing is a first for the Tennessee State Park system and Anderson said it’s been a long journey bringing the project to completion. It began three years ago with a $25,000 grant to the Friends from the Randy Boyd Foundation.

As the first dog park established at a Tennessee State Park new rules and regulations had to be created from scratch for the construction and operation of the facility. The process started with TVA, which owns the park property and leases it to the state. Once TVA gave permission, the state of Tennessee had to create its own rules and give final approval.

Anderson said it’s been a true team effort and he’s grateful for the support and dedication of all those involved in the process.

The project is just the latest effort by the non-profit Friends of Pickwick Landing State Park to improve and beautify the place they love.

Anderson said the group is made up of people who truly care about the area and want to see it continue to grow and develop. Over the years they’ve built aviaries for injured birds who can’t return to the wild, constructed a butterfly garden, an archway entrance to the park, bought kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats for the park, and worked on countless other beautification efforts.

Banner Independent Editor

Managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, Booneville’s Banner-Independent, Brant Sappington has been a member of the Daily Corinthian family since 2001.

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