UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Dogs in and around the City of Utica should get ready to have a ball, as Mayor Palmieri announced Friday that not one, but two new dog parks are coming to Utica.

These two parks will be located at T.R. Proctor Park along Welshbush Road, and at North Utica’s Cinderella Field, and will have separate areas for small and large dogs.

“Over the pandemic, we have seen what animals really mean to us, and how they actually extend our lives, they have the ability to reduce our blood pressure,” said Mayor Robert Palmieri. “And what’s not a better opportunity for our great city than to have a dog park in one of our best T.R. Proctor Parks that we have in Upstate New York.”

These dog parks will feature pavilions, hydrants for the dogs, and room for them to run and exercise.

The combined projects will cost nearly $1 million and will be paid for by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), but it was also spearheaded by a need, noted by Councilman Joseph Betrus, who is also using $200,000 of his district’s ARPA share for the formation of the North Utica dog park.

“It’s going to be at the bottom part of the North Utica Park, near the back of St. Mark’s Church, and I’d also like to say that we’ve always had a problem with the parking lot there for the girls that play softball – we are going to be redoing the parking lot there too – that’s all part of this project,” explained Betrus.

Both projects are being done to create a more diverse park system and accommodate more park visitors.

“I think this city is very unique and different, and I’m very proud of not only all of our legislators, but of the residents themselves that make this city what it is,” said Palmieri.

And good news for all you dog owners out there – construction on these parks is set to begin soon, with the final product being complete by early Winter, and ready to enjoy by next Spring.