New Dog Park

September 11, 2019 05:20 PM
New Dog Park

Canines will soon have another off-leash dog area in Lake County where they can exercise, play and socialize. The Waukegan Savanna Dog Park is scheduled to open Friday, September 13. The entrance is on York House Road, just east of Delany Road in Waukegan.

The 11-acre dog park is entirely fenced and features a large open area, a separate area for small dogs weighing less than 25 pounds, shade shelters, 14 benches with seating made from 100% recycled plastic materials, drinking water for dogs and people, toilets, and a 60-car parking lot. New turn lanes provide easy access into the area from York House Road. The dog park also has fully accessible concrete walkways and entryway from the parking lot to key elements.

Many of the design features were shaped by the public through surveys and feedback, and by Forest Preserve planners studying the latest national dog park design trends. "This new off-leash dog park is the culmination of all the best features we have found through years of research done here and elsewhere," said Randy Seebach, director of planning and land preservation for the Lake County Forest Preserves.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Diane Hewitt, Lake County Forest Preserves commissioner. “I have been involved with the Waukegan Savanna Dog Park project from the beginning. I am blown away. It’s just perfect.” She said it’s a model dog park and is impressed with the accessible design, and the fact that there are separate areas for small and large dogs. 

The opening of the dog park, located within Waukegan Savanna Forest Preserve, has been delayed mainly due to difficulties in establishing the grass turf. "We experienced one of the wettest years on record in 2018. The continuation of record setting rainfall and cool temperatures in May and June 2019 made it very difficult for the grass seed to germinate," Seebach said.

An annual or daily permit and a dog are required for entry into Lake County Forest Preserve Dog Parks. Permits allow access to all five Dog Parks: Waukegan Savanna in Wadsworth, Duck Farm in Lindenhurst, Independence Grove in Libertyville, Lakewood in Wauconda, and Prairie Wolf in Lake Forest. Annual and daily permits can be purchased online at