An off-leash dog park has made a positive first impression thanks to an ongoing makeover to Stuart Park.
The off-leash dog park, playground and perimeter pathway are complete as part of an almost $4 million upgrade to the Stuart Park precinct in Port Macquarie.
Port Macquarie Dog Club instructor and treasurer Betty Lambert said she liked the off-leash dog park's separate areas for large dogs and small dogs.
"They haven't overdone it with the equipment," she said.
"I think a lot of dog owners will be pretty happy now they have somewhere [off-leash dog area in Port Macquarie] other than the beach."
Helen and Graeme Meers brought their dog Penny to the off-leash dog park on its official opening day.
"The whole revamp of the area looks really good," Mrs Meers said.
"I think it will be great for the dogs, and people will meet and have a chat too."
Mr Meers added the off-leash dog park safety factor was important.
The fully fenced off-leash dog park includes equipment ranging from sit and stay tables to tunnels as well as open space for exercise.
Mayor Peta Pinson and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams officially opened the Stuart Park upgrades on Thursday, October 3.
The children's playground includes natural play elements, a combination play unit with platform and slides, musical play, swings, a six metre-high lunar climbing net and a wheelchair accessible spinner.
The community can also access shelters, amenities, seats, picnic tables, barbecues, bubblers and rubbish bins.
A 1.8 kilometre perimeter pathway will make getting around Stuart Park easier.
Cr Pinson said the upgraded facilities were a real asset which would be loved by kids and adults alike.
She acknowledged the work of council staff on the project.
Cr Pinson said the Stuart Park improvements simply would not have been possible without strong partnerships with the community, sporting and community user groups and the state government.
Mrs Williams said the state government's investment in the Stuart Park upgrades demonstrated the real partnership between local government and the state government.
The $3.192 million state government funding is under the Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund, while the council is contributing $800,000.
"At this time when we are going through the worst drought on record, these projects are so critically important for the community and critically important for the local economy as well," Mrs Williams said.
The upgrades to Stuart Park will continue over coming months with the addition of multi-use sports courts and lighting, updated amenities and canteens, sports field floodlighting, spectator seating, shade trees, car parking, new storage facilities and improved drainage.
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