The pooches of Noble Park are getting excited for a new off-leash dog park in Melbourne's south east.
After winning a photo competition, a few lucky local dogs – including terriers Bella and Oscar, and French bulldog Ninja – are having a first run on the growing turf as part of their prize.
They were also given a voucher from local trader ACE Dog Clipping and Grooming.
Once the grass has a chance to grow, the dog park will open to the public in a few weeks time.
Community members voted strongly in favour of having a dog park during public surveys held last year – not surprising given the lack of fenced off-leash dog parks in the area.
Until now, local dog owners have had to drive up to 30 minutes to find this kind of facility, which gives dogs the chance to run free and socialise without the need for owners to keep up.
Tails are also wagging at Clayton, where another dog park will be open to the public on Saturday 13 October, in time for a special community event at various locations along the new elevated line.
A huge milestone was reached earlier this year with nine level crossings removed between Caulfield and Dandenong. Works continue on the 22.5 hectares of new linear parkland under and around the elevated rail.
The first play and exercise areas are fast taking shape under and around the elevated rail, including one near Heatherton Road, Noble Park which boasts table tennis tables, nature play and a climbing cube.
Following the recommendations of a specialist expert panel led by Royal Botanic Gardens Chief Executive, Tim Entwisle, the entire open space includes a range of facilities for all ages, including fitness stations designed especially for seniors.
Around 30,000 trees and shrubs will be planted in the new open space.
Bella and Oscar