Central Bark Park set to open on August 22

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One of the most-often asked questions over the course of the last year has undoubtedly been, “When is the Carmel bark park going to open?”

Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation has announced it will open Aug. 22.

Beginning with a feasibility study in 2012, the completed project has been long-awaited as well as highly anticipated by the area’s dog lovers. Members of the public – in the form of an advisory board – weighed in on issues like membership rates, the selection process and desired features and amenities. The results have produced Central Bark Park, at 1427 116th St. in Carmel. The dog park membership is set at 250 dogs for the safety and comfort of canines and owners alike. The park features small dog and “other dog” areas, green-space to play, benches and a shelter, a wooded area, dog waste stations, and a key fob entry system.

Membership will be determined through a weighted selection process based on residency and order of applications received. Interested parties will need to submit an application form (a link will be posted at www.carmelclayparks.com) on July 27 at noon; applications will be accepted through Aug. 7 at midnight. A member of the CCPR team will contact all applicants regarding the status of selection.

According to CCPR Executive Director Mark Westermeier, the future of Central Bark Park really lies in the hands of its users.

“The plans have been kept relatively simple as to allow for growth based on users’ feedback and wear and tear of the park,” Westermeier said. “It is our plan to regularly survey our members to receive feedback regarding operations, as well as amenities offered. Potential amenities for future phases could include shade structure benches or a dog wash station. Ultimately, it is for our members to decide what they would like to see in years to come.”

Membership to the Central Bark Park is $10 per month (per dog) with a limit of three dogs per household. The monthly rate falls in line with our other facility rate structure. By providing a monthly option, it also allows the public to budget accordingly.

In addition, at time of registration on Aug. 22, a $40 application fee will be assessed that will cover DNA testing for the “Poo Prints” program, created to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets.

For more information about sponsorships or Central Bark Park, please contact Lindsay Labas, marketing director, at 573-4020 or llabas@carmelclayparks.com, or visit our website at http://carmelclayparks.com/parks/bark-park/.

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