Less than eight months after Chuck Dello Iacono restarted a plan to open a dog park in Dedham, dog owners will have a place to take their four-legged best friends beginning Thursday.
A 90-day pilot dog park at the Dolan Center on Common Street is ready and welcoming dog owners.
"It's been madness - in a good way," Dello Iacono said of the whirlwind process.
Dello Iacono, who is not a dog owner, spearheaded the effort as a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, as he researched, developed and pitched the idea to town officials.
The park hit a snag in the fall when proponents learned it would take special permission from the state to override a bylaw mandating dog leashes in parks, but commissioners acted swiftly to put forward an idea to turn a often vacant field at the Dolan Center as a pilot park.
The field is not protected parkland and still under the control of the Board of Selectmen, not parks commissioners. Selectmen OK'd the 90-day trial in November.
A permanent dog park could be built at Condon Park, Fairbanks Park or on the Striar property, commissioners have said. Dello Iacono reiterated the commission's desire to file a Town Meeting warrant related to a permanent dog park for May's annual meeting.
But any warrant - and the future of a permanent park - relies heavily on the use of the pilot park and how well dog owners maintain it.
"If all the dogs owners, which I know they will, they'll live up to their end of they bargain and clean up after their dogs," Dello Iacono said.
The park is open from 7 a.m. to dusk Monday through Sunday.
A 15-person sub-committee will oversee the park and report directly to the Parks and Recreation Commission. That committee, chaired by Dello Iacono, met for the first time earlier this week.
"The parks guys did such a great job in a short amount of time getting [the park ready]," Dello Iacono said.