ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The City of Orlando has a new park. Thornton Park's Constitution Green was purchased from a private developer for $6 million. We've learned that a big chunk of it is going to the dogs.
You may know Constitution Green, at the corner of Summerlin Ave. and South Street [Google Map], for it's giant, old live oak. "Finally, after all these years, it is finally protected, and it is finally a public benefit," said Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan, "and I am delighted with that."
New city plans approved on Monday, show an entire corner of Constitution Green dedicated to dogs. "It's the number two issue that was really important to our people in the downtown. The one thing they wanted was more parks, and the second thing they wanted was a dog park. So we were able to show through our downtown planning process and our partners that this was a really important thing for them."
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer isn't ready to say Constitution Green is officially a dog park. After all, it is only one corner of the one-block property. "I think we'll actually call it a 'dog run' versus a 'dog park,' but it is certainly an area that you can go take your dog off leash and let them run around in downtown." Sheehan said, "The residents in the towers need a place to walk their dogs, so I think this is going to be really popular."
The city will spend more money on the conversion of the park, but fencing and benches should be relatively inexpensive, according to officials. The money will come from Orlando's Community Redevelopment Agency.