Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dogs can fetch beach time on Davis Islands soon

DAVIS ISLANDS — Prepare for salty wet dogs. Expect wild yelps. The Davis Islands Dog Beach will open early next week, officials say.

The 200 feet of beach has been closed for renovations since June 10, much to the dismay of dog owners, including many who do not live on the islands.

But work has been completed ahead of the scheduled Dec. 1 reopening date. A formal ribbon cutting is planned for next month, when the boat ramp next to the park is complete.

From the start, city officials hoped to finish earlier. The completion date was set for after Thanksgiving, city contract administration director David Vaughn said. But the work was dependent on good weather.

On a recent afternoon, six dogs were at the fenced dog park next to the beach. Their owners were eager to get the dogs some beach time.

Among them was 2-year-old Chester, an award-winning Vizsla, who can hardly wait. Chester hasn't said so in words, said his owner, Jack Thompson, of Davis Islands. But the dog, trained to serve wounded veterans, relishes swimming.

"He's made for the water," said Thompson, turning to Chester. "Go find me a bird."

Chester took off.

Kristina Newmeyer also lives on the islands and used to take 2-year-old Fiona, a rescued basenji mix, for a swim at the park every morning. In the summer, it's a great way for a furry dog to cool off, she said.

But about half of the beach was rocky, and much of the sand had eroded, leaving more rocks, glass and other sharp debris. The acre-and-a-half park sits at the south end of the island past the Peter O. Knight Airport on Severn Avenue.

Work crews cleared away debris, replaced sand, and added offshore artificial reefs and a breakwater. Landscapers installed an irrigation system and native plants.

The work also included dredging and repaving of the nearby boat ramp. Both projects were funded with $273,082 from the Community Investment Tax.

Carolyn Bigley went to the beach daily and has been keeping tabs on the progress with city parks and recreation officials.

Bigley, who co-founded Friends of Davis Islands Dog Parks, said the group's Facebook page has grown and people regularly ask her when the dog beach will reopen. She is working with owners of Fountain Square, a bar on Davis Boulevard, for a grand reopening party.

"It looks ready to go," other than a few benches for humans, Bigley said.

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at eparker@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3431.

Dogs can fetch beach time on Davis Islands soon 11/06/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 2:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Charges dropped against man accused of targeting Clearwater cop

    News

    CLEARWATER — All charges have been dropped against a man accused of using a Clearwater police sergeant's personal information to open credit cards and a bank account under his name.

    Daniel Holuba was accused of targeting a Clearwater police officer.
  2. Boyd Tinsley talks Crystal Garden, Dave Matthews Band, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more

    Blogs

    It’s time for Boyd Tinsley’s annual trip to Tampa. Only this year, for the first time since 2011 — and only the third since 1998 — he won’t be coming with the Dave Matthews Band.

    Boyd Tinsley performed with Dave Matthews Band at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa in 2016.
  3. Forecast: Dry conditions prevail across Tampa Bay, but rain chances build during week

    Weather

    Another hot day is on tap for Tampa Bay, with muggy conditions prevailing and just a slim chance for afternoon showers.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast [WTSP]
  4. Live from St. Pete: Kriseman, Baker square off in TV debate

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayoral race goes into the home stretch starting Tuesday.

    Rick Baker, left, is challenging Rick Kriseman to become St. Peterswburg mayor. [Times files]
  5. Five ideas for cooking with ground turkey

    Cooking

    I rarely cook with ground beef. Ground turkey became the go-to ground protein in my kitchen years ago. As meats go, it's pretty ideal: not a ton of raw meat juices, easy enough to cook in a pinch, more flavor than ground chicken. I sub turkey in for just about any recipe that calls for ground beef, except on …

    Siraracha Turkey Skewers are accompanied by jasmine rice and carrot-cucumber slaw.