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Enhancing Quality of Life at Camp Zama: Unveiling a New Dog-Friendly Park

Three newly established dog runs are now accessible to the public at Camp Zama, Japan, following a recent quality-of-life initiative that commenced on April 10, 2024. This endeavor, spanning a year, aimed to rejuvenate an unused space within the former Hawk’s Way housing area, which now boasts a nearly half-mile walking path for the local community.

Dog owners at Camp Zama, Japan, can rejoice as the Directorate of Public Works has unveiled three brand-new dog runs, enhancing the recreational options for furry companions. This development was an integral component of a comprehensive yearlong project dedicated to revitalizing a dormant section within the former Hawk’s Way housing vicinity, which also features an expansive half-mile walking trail for residents.

Overseeing this significant transformation was Andrew Malinich, the chief of the Building and Grounds Branch at DPW, who highlighted the collaborative efforts of various teams that collectively invested over 12,000 man-hours into the project. Malinich expressed his satisfaction with the in-house execution of the project, emphasizing the diverse skill set of the team members involved.

The newly established area, named Hawk’s Way Dog Park, encompasses three enclosed dog runs tailored for small, medium, and large breeds, complemented by pet-friendly water fountains to ensure the canines remain hydrated during playtime. This initiative was conceived by U.S. Army Garrison Japan officials in response to the demolition of 16 fourplex buildings, which paved the way for a communal space on MacArthur Road within the installation.

Michael Hammond, the garrison’s installation manager, articulated the community-centric vision behind the project, aiming to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for dog owners to unleash their pets within a controlled setting. The introduction of the dog park addresses the previous lack of designated spaces for dog walking, with existing restrictions on pets in certain community areas like Dewey Park due to health and safety regulations.

Moreover, the collaborative efforts between Camp Zama and the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron at Yokota Air Base played a pivotal role in expediting the project timeline and optimizing resource utilization. By leveraging support from external units, the initiative not only saved costs but also fostered a sense of camaraderie among the involved parties, exemplifying the spirit of cooperation within the military community.

As the community embraces this new recreational asset, emphasizing responsible pet ownership through waste management and upkeep, the successful implementation of the quality-of-life project stands as a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the DPW team at Camp Zama.