JC DogPAC worked for nearly three years to bring a dog park to our area. In September 2004, the City of Iowa City designated 11 acres of land on the Peninsula parkland to be developed into a dog park.
Shortly after that, JC DogPAC began working with landscape architects from Shoemaker & Haaland to develop a park plan, and on November 30, 2005, we had a groundbreaking ceremony as All American Concrete dug into the ground that became the Lily's Pond. Iowa City's first off-leash dog park, Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park, opened on June 17, 2006. In the first 18 months the park was opened, more than 3000 park permit tags were sold.
Beginning with Dean Thornberry's announcement that he would provide financial support to get the dog park open, we received excellent support from the City of Iowa City as well as local citizens and businesses. That support allows us to maintain and improve the park, as well as to create other off-leash areas in Iowa City.
In summer 2007 we installed the first of 4 shelters and a posting board for notices and information. In summer 2008 the other three shelters were built. The city built the shed in which we store agility equipment, brooms, shovels, etc. In summer of 2009 we paved the path in the Lucky Pawz Playground and extended that path to the 2nd shelter, and added a path to the shelter in the Linder Small Dog Yard.
In 2008 the city agreed to open a second off-leash area, called Rita's Ranch, in Scott Park on the east side of town. That park opened on July 25, 2009.