The opening of Central Maui's first leash-free dog park at Keopuolani Park will be blessed at 9 a.m. March 16.
Residents and their dogs are invited to the event, which also will serve as a grand opening.
The dog park features two fenced areas, one for large dogs and another for dogs weighing less than 25 pounds. The accessible drinking area has two fountains - one for people and a ground-level one for dogs.
The park, managed by the county Department of Parks & Recreation, will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"Our community needs this kind of park because as our population grows, so does the number of pets," said Mayor Alan Arakawa. "It is important for dogs to get exercise, and this park will provide animal lovers this opportunity."
The mayor said he hopes dog owners will use the park and allow their pets to roam free there, but he reminded owners to keep their dogs leashed while at the beach, on hiking trails or in other public places.
"As dog owners, we are responsible for the actions of our pets." the mayor said.
The dog park can be accessed from Kanaloa Avenue by turning into the park on Keopuolani Parkway. The parking lot is located near Keopuolani Park's perimeter with the YMCA property. A crosswalk leads to the dog park.
The parks department also would like to educate the community on proper dog park etiquette, and volunteers are being recruited to help support the new park. Volunteer recruitment is being coordinated by Sue Kiang, a parks employee who can be reached at 270-7329.