JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Regular visitors of the Newtown Dream Dog Park will need to find a new way to occupy their pups during March.

Starting March 1 the dog park will be closed for renovations.

One of the top dog parks in the country, the Newtown Dream Dog Park is located just inside the park’s the front entrance. It is a fenced 1-acre area featuring artificial turf, sprinklers for dogs to play in, obstacles to play on and water fountains for people and pets. It offers separate areas for large and small dogs, along with benches, shelters and trees.

The upcoming renovations will take place in both the small and large dog park areas. The turf will be replaced in both parks and the drainage system, which has caused some of the turf breakdown, will be updated as well.

The park was one of the first to feature artificial turf, making the site a prototype for other like facilities, said Robby Newton, director of Recreation and Parks. He said the city has no current plans for other renovations at the dog park other than some refreshed signage.

Funding for the refurbishments will come from the city’s maintenance accrual fund, money the city sets aside every year for repairs on amenities.

The dog park opened in 2011 after a local resident won the Beneful Dream Dog Park contest and was awarded $500,000 for creation of the facility. The park has proven popular over the years. Based on dog waste bags the city estimates the park sees around 400 visitors a week.

 Newton said the city expects the turf to last 10 years, and while there are no big tears or serious damage, they want to be proactive with maintenance.

Refurbishments are expected to take about a month.

“Because this facility is so popular, we wouldn't want to shut it down for a couple of weeks to, you know, replace the patch here, replace a patch there,” he said. “We'll reopen the park as soon as we're done.”

The sprinklers and water fixtures attract a lot of traffic in the summer, and the city scheduled maintenance during the off months to prepare for the crowds.

While the park is closed, there are other walking paths in the parks for residents and their dogs. Newtown Park is also home to a 1.2-mile walking loop.

“We're still very proud of our dog park,” Newton said. “Over the last couple years, it has been voted top dog park in the Metro Atlanta area.”

The park is expected to reopen to the public in late March. The hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., except for Wednesdays when the park opens at 10 a.m. because of scheduled maintenance. Additional information regarding the dog park and renovations can be found at johnscreekga.gov.

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