Canine playground set for Ronan Park

A corner of Dorchester’s Ronan Park is going to the dogs.

A groundbreaking will be held a week from Saturday for the Ronan Park Dog Run, the neighborhood’s first official venue for canine recreation. Organizers hope that the new pooch park will provide a place for humans to connect with each other while their pets spend some time off the leash.

“To be honest, it’s more about the people than it is about the dogs,” said Paige Davis, treasurer of the Friends of Ronan Park civic group who is heading up the dog-run project.

The run will be constructed on the park grounds at the corner of Linden and Juliette Streets. The 6,000-square foot area will be fenced in, with a groundcover of gravel to prevent mud. A water fountain will enable owners to fill bowls for the dogs to drink from during their play. New lighting, shade, and seating for the dogs’ human companions will also be installed.

Construction is set to be completed by the end of this year and then the run will be open to the public. After the Spring thaw, another special event will be held to officially dedicate the park’s newest feature.

“One of the things that everybody in a city will tell you is that once they have a dog, they meet everybody in the neighborhood,” Davis said. “Having the dog park is going to bring all different kinds of people together. We’ll all be in one place being able to talk to each other, talk about what’s going on in the neighborhood. Not only that but we’ll be out there keeping an eye on the neighborhood, so there will always be people in the park during daylight hours.”

The installation is the culmination of three years of effort from the Friends of Ronan Park, the Boston Parks Department, and the Animal Rescue League.

“The whole project is now a partnership,” said Davis. “The Animal Rescue League is one of the partners. The Friends of Ronan Park, which is a community group, are responsible for maintenance and fundraising, to manage the dog park and all management issues.”

The Boston Parks Department will handle trash removal, water to the fountain, and lighting.

According to Davis, planning for the run was financed by three $10,000 grants from the Boston Parks Department’s Small Changes program. An additional $180,000 was granted for construction by the Stanton Foundation, and another $25,000 from community donations.

The groundbreaking ceremony, which will include a group dog walk and an animal health clinic, is set for 10 a.m. at the park.