Skip to main content Skip to footer

Mr. Larry Simotes and his family generously donated the park to the Village of Minooka

Veterans Dog Park Opens in Downtown Minooka

If you have visited downtown Minooka recently, you may have noticed a brand-new extension to Veteran’s Park.  The Village’s first off-leash dog park contains plenty of space for dogs and their owners to roam and enjoy, while simultaneously honoring United States Armed Forces members.   The gorgeous hardscape and landscaping appeals to park-goers as well as pedestrians and drivers passing by.  Located at the northeast corner of Wabena Avenue and Wapella Street, Veterans Dog Park is the latest instance in which the Village of Minooka has expanded its greenspace in the downtown area. 

Mr. Larry Simotes and his family generously donated the park to the Village of Minooka.  In addition, many of the building materials used in the park’s construction were donated by local business owners and residents, making the project a truly community-wide effort.  A ribbon cutting took place on Saturday May 25, over Memorial Day weekend, with special guest Duane Stevenson.  Mr. Stevenson, a 100-year-old veteran who served as a Combat Engineer in World War II from 1943-1946, was honored as part of the opening ceremony.

When asked why a veterans dog park, Mr. Simotes commented how he has always supported dog shelters, and having a degree in history, has a profound respect for our veterans.  It was not until he wrote two books: the first about his father, a Marine during the Korean War, and the second a story of WWII Veteran George Bigelow, who was on the sinking of the Leopoldville on December 24th, 1944, that he truly realized how special our soldiers and Veterans are.  And so, the idea of the Veterans Dog Park began.

Constructing Veterans Dog Park brought joy to Mr. Simotes, who stated, "I was blessed by God to have met so many Patriots who came forward to assist in the building of one of the most special places for our Veterans and residents to enjoy."  The Village of Minooka encourages all residents to come and enjoy the park and kindly asks visitors to follow the park’s rules posted on the front gate.  Thank you to Mr. Larry Simotes, his family, and all those who made this special and meaningful park possible.