New Oldfield Oaks Off-Leash Dog Area to Open in Spring 2018

News Release


New Oldfield Oaks Off-Leash Dog Area to Open in Spring 2018 

Opening Hinges on When Turf is Ready

(Completed 2017 and Opened 2018) — The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County will open the new off-leash dog area at Oldfield Oaks Forest Preserve in spring 2018 to give the grass enough time to firmly take root.

With cooperation from Mother Nature, the District had hoped to open the fenced-in 10-acre off-leash dog area in the southwest corner of the Darien preserve in fall 2017. But drought-like conditions during the summer hindered turf growth and prevented it from establishing into a thick and vigorous lawn adequate enough to withstand anticipated use, said District Planning Manager Kevin Horsfall.

“While we’re very excited about opening an off-leash dog area at Oldfield Oaks, we had to make the difficult decision to keep it closed until next spring after closely inspecting and evaluating the turf last week,” Horsfall said. “The last thing we want to do is disappoint our off-leash dog area users by having to close a newly opened facility to make repairs.”

Forest Preserve District Commissioner Linda Painter, District 3, has long lobbied for the project saying an area is needed in southeastern DuPage County because the nearest forest preserve off-leash sites area at Mayslake Forest Preserve in Oak Brook and Greene Valley Forest Preserve in Naperville, which are each more than 8 miles away.

“Commissioner Painter listened to her constituents and worked very hard to get the off-leash dog area opened at Oldfield Oaks,” said Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Joe Cantore.

“It’s a short-term delay for a long-term benefit,” Painter said. “We want to make sure we get it right and it’s something we can all be proud of.”

The nearly 7-acre area will have concrete plazas with double-gated entrances, a 0.2-mile gravel inner loop trail and a 0.35-mile turf outer loop trail. There will be a 0.6-acre area for small dogs, and a 6-acre parcel for all dogs with multiple activity areas. It will also have picnic tables and trees for buffering and an adjacent 42-car asphalt parking lot that will double as a trailhead for visitors who want to reach the preserve’s existing two miles of looped trails.

In addition to Mayslake and Greene Valley forest preserves, the District has off-leash dog areas at Blackwell in Warrenville, East Branch in Glendale Heights, Hawk Hollow in Hanover Park and Springbrook Prairie in Naperville.

The District issues about 10,000 permits for its off-leash dog areas each year, evidence that there are a lot of DuPage County residents who use these facilities. Pet owners who wish to use any of the District’s off-leash dog areas must have valid permits, which are available online or through Visitor Services weekdays at 630-933-7248.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 4 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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