By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian
In a move that will be pleasing to many Arkadelphia dog owners, a recent land transaction between Henderson State University and the City of Arkadelphia made official a long-awaited dog park.
The city purchased 3.54 acres of land adjacent to Mill Creek for use as a dog park. Dubbed Barkadelphia Community Dog Park by the group of about 20 community leaders responsible for the vision, the new city park promises several dog-friendly features for an off-leash experience.
Arkadelphia will be one of about a dozen municipalities in Arkansas with a public dog park and the southernmost city in the state to have one. The nearest cities with a public dog park are Hot Springs and Benton.
According to real estate transactions — public documents available at the Clark County Circuit Clerk’s Office — the land sale came with a price tag of $45,000. The city board of directors last year gave administration plenty of room to negotiate the deal, with approval to spend up to $100,000 on the property.
According to a press release from the city, the Move Arkadelphia Forward tax initiative allowed city officials to budget $95,000 for the project, $45,000 of which was used to purchase the land. In addition to the city’s budget, Clark County Leadership Class VIII raised $57,800 for the dog park. The class has started purchasing amenities for the park, such as shade structures, hurdles, benches, etc. Any remaining costs will be funded using the city’s budgeted $50,000.
The park will be divided into two separate fenced-in areas, one for dogs weighing less than 30 pounds and one for larger dogs. Each will have its own shaded pavilion, double-gated entrance/exit, walking paths, hurdles and bench seating. Park features in the original plan include dog waste disposal stations and water fountains for dogs and their people.
A parking lot for the dog park will be constructed on Mill Creek Drive, the city said in its release. The lot will feature 10 parking spaces, with the goal the majority of residents will access the park using Feaster Trail.
“As construction continues on the Feaster Trail Rehabilitation Project, city officials hope to improve the areas surrounding the 2.6-mile trail,” the press release states. “One of those areas is the pedestrian bridge at 15th Street, which will also serve as an access point to the new dog park. With this in mind, officials will be looking in to changing the surface of the bridge to feature a more ‘paw-friendly’ walkway.”
The 2019 Leadership Clark County class selected a dog park as its main objective. Each class is tasked with fulfilling a project inspired by goals outlined in the 2007 Clark County Strategic Plan. The group had its own agility training as it leapt over hurdles in fundraising efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
City officials plan to meet next week to discuss a construction schedule and implementation for the dog park. Further details will be released on the city’s website, https://arkadelphia.gov.
Once the park is opened, ownership and maintenance duties will be transferred to the city.
Categories: City & County, Outdoors, Slider
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