JACKSON, Wyo. —Jackson’s first permanent dog park is coming to town.

On Monday, the Jackson Town Council approved a permanent off-leash dog park at Miller Park. It will be the first of its kind for the town.

The permanent, 0.15-acre park will exist in the southern half of the park on the west side along Jackson Street.

The park will consist of 6,500 square feet of artificial turf made of polypropylene, a smooth synthetic material that does not require the “crumb rubber” seen on traditional turf fields. Parks and Rec Director Steve Ashworth said this turf is easy to clean and will require less maintenance. Ultimately, the turf would only have to be resurfaced every six to seven years.

“It’s been used quite a bit [for dog parks], it’s much easier to clean. It has a complete drainage system within it,” said Ashworth. “The carpet has a series of drain holes…material will drain through to the drainage system for biofiltration.”

The park would feature a four-foot-tall fence along with trees and shrubs to provide screening and would operate year-round from dawn to dusk. No lighting is proposed for the park.

Ashworth said Parks and Rec is still searching for possible sponsors and working through grant opportunities to fund the park.

The Council also approved a build permit for two new half courts for basketball. Studies show that half-court basketball is actually more common, said Parks and Rec.

“More people are able to use them on different skill levels, there are very few games that go from full court. It’s often three on three people playing,” Tyler Valentine senior planner with the Town of Jackson said.

Additionally, the existing courts will be converted into pickleball courts. Ashworth said that Parks and Rec is working with a private philanthropist to fund the pickleball courts.

Development permits are required to be submitted within a year.

While the seasonal off-leash dog park at the Fairgrounds will remain in place, this will be the first permanent placement in Jackson.

“I have confidence that the demographic that uses it truly does do a good job of community self-police and partnership with each other, so I am encouraged,” Ashworth said.

Councilmember Arne Jorgensen expressed his optimism about the project.

“I’m excited about this. I’ve said publically on a number of situations that [dog parks is a use] that is being requested and there’s a significant demand in our community.”

However, Jorgensen and Councilor Jim Rooks said there’s a larger discussion about dog parks as they become a reality, which will require new and revised ordinances pertaining to the topic.

“I’m less concerned about this because of its location downtown but we should be watching it very carefully,” Jorgensen said.

For several years now, the location of an off-leash dog park in Jackson has been a topic of public debate. In October 2021, Parks and Rec hit a pause on its proposal for a dog park in May Park. Currently, there is only one temporary dog park in Jackson, located at the Teton County Fairgrounds from November to May.

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.