A fenced dog park that allows pet owners to exercise their dogs without a leash has been constructed in the city park.

Situated just south of the tennis courts, near an east boundary tree line, the dog park is currently unlocked, but that will change in the coming weeks.

The park board and City Administrator Harold Selby are working on a locking system that will require a keycard to enter the park.

The project was discussed at the Feb. 11 park board meeting when Boy Scout Dylan Patton, Troop 443 Gray Summit, reported completion of the fenced compound which he organized as an Eagle Scout project.

A double gated entry allows pet owners to unleash their dogs in an enclosed area. Inside the large compound are benches for owners, waste stations for pet owners to clean up after their dogs and several pieces of exercise equipment.

Posted rules for the park note that dogs must be licensed and immunized and must be kept on a leash while entering and exiting the dog park. Only three dogs per pet owner are allowed in the off-leash area at one time.

Professional trainers are prohibited from using the park to conduct their business.

Some pet owners have already walked their dogs in the new compound. Once the locking system is in place, dog owners will be able to obtain a keycard by paying a small fee and providing proof of shots and city tag.

Patton said that the Eagle Scout board had given final acceptance of the completed project and he is now an Eagle Scout. His family plans an investiture ceremony in the coming months.

The park board also plans to hold a grand opening ceremony to officially open the park to the public.

Patton came up with the dog park project after a discussion with park board members about a project that would benefit the city.

The dog park is the fourth Eagle Scout project to benefit the city park system, following signs identifying ballfields installed by Eagle Scout Mike Bates Jr., a replica Civil War cannon installed by Eagle Scout Zach Myers and a walking trail around the city fishing pond installed by Eagle Scout Jeremy Bates.

Patton’s younger brother, who will develop an Eagle Scout project within the next year, says he would like to talk with the park board about another project.