Knoxville, TN - Downtown dogs and their owners can now enjoy extended hours at the City’s PetSafe® Downtown Dog Park, thanks to lighting in the park supported by three new solar panel stations.

The lighting will enable park users to enjoy summer park hours despite earlier sunsets in the winter. Typically, City parks are open dawn to dusk.

“With increasing numbers of downtown residents, we began to see a need for the dog park to be open in winter evenings beyond the 6 p.m. sunsets just after working hours,” said Joe Walsh, Director of Knoxville’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Using money remaining from the original capital funds for the Downtown Dog Park (opened in June 2010), the $42,000 project features three light posts with two solar panels each. The park’s new light posts adhere to the style of Downtown Knoxville’s pedestrian infrastructure utilities. The City Parks and Greenways Coordinator oversaw the purchase and installation of the lights.

In addition to reducing energy use, the solar panels proved to be the more cost-effective choice after City officials determined it would be more difficult and expensive to install underground wiring. Massey Electric Co. completed the installation of the project.

The solar panels are expected to produce approximately $17,000 in annual energy savings.

“Of course, dogs need to play and exercise in the evenings, too, and the City providing the new solar lights is fantastic,” said Randy Boyd, Executive Chairman of Radio Systems Corp.® and owner of the PetSafe® brand. “Being a part-time resident in the Old City, I have had many friends and family wish for lighting. I’m sure they are all very happy.”

The PetSafe® Downtown Dog Park is located at 200 S. Central St. For more information on the City’s dog parks, visit