Yorba Linda’s first dog park, named for Nixon’s dog Checkers, opens Monday – Orange County Register

Yorba Linda’s first place for canines to play off-leash is set to open next week.

A grand opening ceremony for Checkers Dog Park – the name is a reference to President Richard Nixon’s cocker spaniel – will be held at 4 p.m. on Monday, June 26 on a half-acre upper slope at Jean Woodard Park.

The $228,000 park, complete with double entry gates for corralling the pooches, water stations and benches, has one open area for dogs to romp around, there isn’t a division between large and small dogs.

The park will be open from sunrise to sunset, but will close from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays for weekly maintenance.

“Interest in this project has been very high and we had over 400 people that participated in the naming process,” project manager Colleen Callahan-Litfin said.

Nixon made Checkers famous during a 1952 televised speech. Then a senator and Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s vice-presidential running mate, he was responding to allegations he had improperly used funds to reimburse his political expenses.

He told viewers he should probably mention a gift received after an election. A Texas man heard Pat Nixon mention their daughters wanted a dog and sent the black-and-white cocker spaniel to the family.

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