Heads up, Apache Junction: your four-legged friends are getting a play-time upgrade! On August 19, 2021, the City of Apache Junction hosted its groundbreaking ceremonies for the city’s first off-leash dog park. As one of Project Cities first collaboration with the City of Apache Junction, seven students from Malcolm Goggin’s PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone investigated funding opportunities, logistics, and public interest for Apache Junction’s first dog park. Historically, the city had struggled with getting the project off the ground due to funding constraints, until fall 2017, when Apache Junction entered a partnership with the newly started Project Cities program. With the help of Public Affairs and Community Solutions students, students set out independently to conduct a literature review on Apache Junction, then split off to tackle the problem from various research methods, including surveying and field observation. Each student targeted a specific method and overall recommended that the dog park should be a minimum 1 acre in size, with benches, shade, and waste receptacles available. Based on these recommendations, the Apache Junction City Council identified a location in the downtown area and will have separate fenced areas for the varying dog sizes. The park will sit on 3.4 acres of open space and will have grass, water stations, solar lighting, shade, and plenty of seating. The park will be located at the corner of Superstition Blvd. and Idaho Rd at the Pinal County complex. Construction began in August 2021 and the park is expected to open at the beginning of 2022. You can check out Apache Junction’s website for updates. Congratulations to the City of Apache Junction for breaking ground on the dog park and congratulations to the students who worked on this project! Thanks to you all, Apache Junction’s dogs have even more reason to get excited when they hear “W-A-L-K.” Read more about the park: https://bit.ly/3DfqQvP Check out the student summary report: https://bit.ly/2XMMMhC Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter.