On Thursday, May 23, city leaders and community members gathered at Lower Lincoln Park to celebrate the opening of Wagging Tails, the newest dog park in Tucson.

Ward 4 Tucson City Councilor Nikki Lee helped cut the ribbon, ushering in a project that was years in the making.

The park features three sections for various-sized dogs, all covered in grass and filled with agility equipment such as tunnels and a dog playground.

Councilor Lee says that the project began as a way to improve the lower Lincoln Park area.

This area in particular used to have a lot of activity that wasnt really beneficial to the community, a lot of criminal activity, Lee said. “So we really wanted to activate this space and do something nice to invest in the community and create a safe place for people to come and enjoy it.”

Once the ribbon was cut, dogs stormed the gates of Wagging Tails, looking for a morning of play.

Your dogs are gonna love it,” said Tucson resident Lorraina Kestner. “Theres grass, theres misters for people and dogs. Theres agility equipment. Its beautiful.

The dogs may love it, but Lee says that the park benefits humans too.

People are experiencing a loneliness epidemic here in our country,” Lee said. “Just being able to just get people out and about, connecting with nature, connecting with each other can be really really helpful physically and mentally.

Lorraina Kestner and her dog, Angel, took the opportunity to make new friends at the park.

You just get to socialize with other people that love their dogs,” Kestner said. “And they can share their experience with each other.

Lee says that funding for the dog park came from a variety of sources, such as Ward 4 discretionary funds, impact funds on nearby development and a Petsmart grant.

Funds from Prop 407 also allowed the ward to repave the parking lot at Lower Lincoln Park.

Additionally, Tucson Water worked with Tucson Parks and Recreation to add 20,000 square feet of water-harvesting landscape, such as 66 new trees and hundreds of shrubs and native grasses.

Wagging Tails Dog Park is open every day from 6 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

On Wednesdays, the park will close from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. for maintenance.