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PHOTO CAPTION:  Natalie Fultz and her toy poodle Wrigleigh were one of many to attend the grand opening of the dog park Saturday in Columbus.

October 30, 2013
By Adrienne Anderson

FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 30, 2013) -- The first dog park in Columbus officially opened Saturday. The park, located next to Oxbow Meadows, features two fields -- one for dogs 30 pounds and smaller and another for dogs heavier than 30 pounds. It also includes a festival field and a pavilion to complete the Community Support Facilities.

"We are in an era in this city of just big ideas (and) big things happening," said Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. "And I hope as we're enjoying this that we don't take it for granted. This is really a very special time in this city's history and today's no different."

Due to the hard work of many, she said, the city was able to bring a big idea to fruition -- turning a landfill into a safe and environmentally friendly park for the community.

"(This is) where Families can come and celebrate, where we can have festivals, we've got a pavilion here for Family reunions … anything that you can imagine in this wonderful dog park so that you can celebrate the outdoors with your entire Family, including your loving pets," she said.

Jessica Song, a military spouse who lives on post said she was excited about the dog park.

She heard about the grand opening ceremony on Oxbow Meadow's Facebook page and decided to attend.

"The dog parks on post are on the other side and this one is actually closer," she said, adding she wanted to come to the dog park to get her dog adjusted to other dogs.

It was a big step in the overall renovation of South Columbus, Tomlinson said.

"It has to be a synergy and (activity) going on in the area that leads (businesses) to come here. When we do things like bring Westville to South Columbus, build hotels in South Columbus, build this dog park, this festival field -- that type of activity makes the private market want to be near that vibrancy and that's what brings the ... other development."