Last year, the Oro Valley City Council voted to approve $25 million bond financing for improvements to its parks and recreation.

Since then, crews have been hard at work bringing the vision to life.

“I’m really happy to see it’s being upgraded and used,” said Mark Platt, another long-time resident and the president of Copper Creek HOA. “I’m here every day for the dog park.”

However, that vision doesn’t include improvements to the existing dog park. While speaking to Platt, he says he asked the city last year about the lack of upgrades.

“My guess is that they’re not going to spend the money to do it. And rather than get back to me and get grief from me, they’re just going to ignore me,” he said.

The park has one dog park divided into three sections: one for smaller dogs, one for large breeds, and one for dogs who may be anxious or frail. It’s the sand-filled section for larger breeds that long-time residents hope can be replaced with grass.

“If at all possible, we would like some funding to be put into that,” Robson said.

According to the National Institute of Health, when outside temperatures are only 75 degrees, sand can surpass triple digits. Because of this, some owners have started utilizing the other sections.

“We brought our big dogs over here out of the sand and into the grass,” Pratt admitted. “You know they play more even though it’s 100-plus degrees when we get here at 6:30 at night.”

Robson added that they’ve “invited them to come out and see us at this time and see exactly what goes on, but every time I’ve been here, no one shows up.”

Oro Valley representatives provided a statement on the condition of the dog park and any potential changes in the future.

The statement reads:

“The dog park at Naranja Park has two separate areas: one for small dogs and one for large dogs. The area for small dogs has grass, and the area for large dogs originally had grass; however, due to the size and aggressive nature of play by larger dogs, the grass in their area was destroyed in a short period of time. Based on previous experience and high maintenance costs, the Town is not currently planning to reinstall grass in the large dog area. The surface of their play area is now similar to the dog park at James D. Kriegh Park, which also does not have any grass.”