Limited number of applications being accepted for Carmel dog park

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Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation is accepting applications through Aug. 7 for its dog park, which will open Aug. 22. (Photo submitted by Carmel Clay Parks)

Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation is accepting applications through Aug. 7 for its dog park, which will open Aug. 22. (Photo submitted by Carmel Clay Parks)

As Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation prepares to open its long-awaited Bark Park on Aug. 22, officials expect the 250 available memberships to go quickly.

Parks Director Mark Westermeier said memberships will be limited to prevent overcrowding, which can ruin the grass and cause other problems.

“You don’t want to have a mud pit where you can’t grow grass,” he said.

To that end, Carmel Clay Parks has invested in an irrigation system to keep the area looking lush. He sought advice on the membership policy and its effects from officials at the Broad Ripple dog park, which allows 500 dogs.

Dog park applications will be accepted through Aug. 7. Staff will choose who to accept based on residency and when they submitted the application, with Carmel residents getting weighted preference. It’s possible that membership numbers could go up eventually, but that’s not definite.

“We strongly believe that there will be at least two more dog parks open in Carmel in the future,” Westermeier said. “We know West Park is one area where there’s strong interest for us opening another dog park.”

Membership will cost $10 a month. Westermeier said a monthly rate isn’t as costly up front and allows people to cancel at any time. There aren’t any plans to bundle memberships with Monon Community Center plans.

New members also have to pay $40 to undergo a doggie DNA test that helps prevent owners from not picking up pet waste. Staff will test waste that isn’t disposed of and send fines to owners.

The Bark Park sits on more than two acres in Central Park surrounded by a four-foot fence with features such as a double-gated entrance with key fob locking, a shelter to beat the sun, separate areas for big dogs and little dogs, benches and a wooded area. A dog wash station might be installed in the future.

Westermeier said they are exploring ways that members can bring guests with them, but right now there’s no plans for a day pass entry instead of signing up for a membership. The membership applies to the dog, so different people can bring a registered dog to the park.

FACTS ABOUT DOG PARK

ADDRESS: 1427 116th Street in Carmel

COST: $10 a month with $40 application fee

APPLICATION: 250 dogs total, applications available until Aug. 7

LIMIT: 3 dogs per household

HOURS:

• Spring/Summer (beginning Mar 15): 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Fall/Winter (beginning Oct 16): 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Closed Monday mornings from 7 to 10 a.m. for maintenance

RULES:

  • Digging is prohibited
  • Dogs larger than 35 pounds not allowed in small dog area
  • Owners must pick up dog waste and litter
  • No aggressive dogs or persistent barking
  • Tags must be worn and visible
  • Keep gates closed
  • Food is prohibited (dog and human). Training treats are allowed.
  • Children younger than 11 are prohibited
  • No letting in dogs without a membership
  • No other pets that aren’t dogs

For complete rules, visit http://carmelclayparks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Central_Bark_Park_Rules.pdf

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