Officials from the City of Wheeling and the Wheeling Park Commission joined representatives from the Fitzsimmons Foundation Thursday morning to celebrate the opening of the Fitzsimmons Family Dog Park at Wheeling Park with a ribbon cutting.
Located between the White Palace and the golf course, the new facility is accessible via the main one-way entrance to Wheeling Park. The dog park is divided into two sections - one side for large dogs, the other for small dogs. Along with access to water, shaded areas and benches for humans, the Fitzsimmons Family Dog Park at Wheeling Park is also completely handicap accessible with a handicap water station, handicap parking and self-closing gates. The Fitzsimmons Family Dog Park at Wheeling Park is the second dog park in the City of Wheeling made possible with a generous gift from the Fitzsimmons Foundation, the first being the Fitzsimmons Family Dog Park at the Tunnel Green Recreation Complex in East Wheeling.
City officials are grateful for the collaboration with the Wheeling Park Commission and for the support from the Fitzsimmons Foundation.
“Thanks to the vision of Councilman Palmer, the City finally has a dog park out the pike. Dog parks are among the fastest growing amenities park and recreation departments can offer. Not only do they give dogs of all sizes a chance to play off-leash and get exercise with their owners, they also help build a sense of community. None of this would be possible without the help of Oglebay CEO Bob Peckenpaugh, the Wheeling Park Commission and the Fitzsimmons family, so hats off to them for their help making this dream a reality,” said Ward 5 Councilor Ty Thorngate.
“After an unsuccessful search through Ward 6 for a suitable site for a dog park, I collaborated with Councilman Ty Thorngate on the idea of a joint dog park. We reached out to Wheeling Park, toured the park and settled on the current site. I am extremely pleased and grateful to the Wheeling Park Commission and the Fitzsimmons Foundation for an additional dog park for our residents and guests,” said Ward 6 Councilor Dave Palmer.
Wheeling Park Commission President & CEO Bob Peckenpaugh is pleased with the incorporation of a dog park at Wheeling Park.
“The addition of the Fitzsimmons Family Dog Park to Wheeling Park is a perfect match. We are excited to have an area where the locals can enjoy the park, exercise their dogs, and socialize. The future is bright for Wheeling Park with the many improvements that will be happening over the next three years, and we are excited to create more reasons for the community to come out and enjoy Wheeling Park,” he said.
Kayleen Fitzsimmons Clough said the Fitzsimmons Foundation is pleased to support such a project.
“The mission of the Fitzsimmons Foundation is to improve the quality of life for our neighbors and to help those who are less fortunate. The dog community is a huge part of the Ohio Valley. With the addition of this dog park, residents can take in the beauty and activities of the historic Wheeling Park grounds while getting some fresh air with their fury friends or just relax and watch pups play,” she said.
Fitzsimmons Family Dog Park at Wheeling Park is open dawn to dusk.