Veterans Dog Park to Open in Minooka, Illinois Memorial Day Weekend

A dog park, which will also honor United States Armed Forces members, is set to open Saturday, May 25, 2024 in Minooka. A short Grand Opening ceremony is planned for 10am that morning at the corner of Wapella and Wabena in Minooka, Illinois where the park lies.

Veterans Dog Park in Minooka

A lonely, empty piece of green grass on a hill in downtown Minooka, Illinois is now one of the most beautiful Veterans Dog Parks in the country. For three years, a lifelong resident drove by the open green pasture with a dream to design and construct a park for residents to bring their dogs to run and play off leash, but also a place to honor our Veterans. He envisioned a special place for Veterans to reminisce on their time wearing the uniform and their dedication and sacrifice for all those loved and lost.

Veterans Dog Park in Minooka

When asked, “Why a Veterans Dog Park?” the resident commented how he has always supported dog shelters and, having a degree in history, has always had profound respect for our Veterans. It was not until he wrote two books; the first about his father, a Marine during the Korean War, and the second telling the story of WWII Veteran George Bigelow who was on the sinking of the Leopoldville on December 24th, 1944, that he truly realized how special our soldiers and Veterans are.  And so, the idea of the Veterans Dog Park began.

Upon entering the park, you will be greeted with gold and gray colored concrete that leads to 12-foot-high brick columns with a connecting arch. Once inside, red roses line the sidewalks that lead to the focus of the park; a life size bronze soldier and his dog, greeting you as you enter. Guests can reach out and touch the work of art, which will inspire you. Heading east along the sidewalk that wraps the entire park, halfway through, you will find yourself under a beautifully crafted pergola. If you want to feel the sun shining down upon your face, you can continue east and sit on the stone block retaining wall that wraps the bend in the sidewalk. Sitting there, you will take in not only the gorgeous landscape, but another gold bronze statue of a falling soldier’s dog sitting and waiting for his return. Your walk will finish with various maple trees, evergreens, bushes, and slate rocks to sit on. The park’s magic can continue into the evening, complete with black traditional light poles that cast light onto the entire park.

In closing, the resident was asked, “what brought the most joy in erecting the Veterans Dog Park?” to which he responded, “I was blessed by God to have met so many Patriots who came forward to assist in the building of one of the most special places for our Veterans and residents to enjoy.”