Dogs and their owners in South Bryan might be getting their own park following the county Board of Commissioners’ decision to provide use of county land in DeVaul Henderson Park.
The commissioners unanimously approved April 9 provisional approval to Bryan County Bark Park Group for a proposed dog park in Henderson Park.
The approval is provisional because the board won’t grant official use of the 1.5 acres near the ball fields until the group has $10,000 to spend on the construction of fencing and other essential items for the dog park.
Lesley Francis, secretary of the group, gave a brief presentation to the commissioners that detailed the group’s plans and extensive research in making sure the Bark Park will be a place for responsible dog owners to bring their pets.
“We’ll not only direct people to use the (waste) bins and accompany children … let’s talk about the elephant in the room — there has been a lot about a certain breed of dogs that has had devastating consequences in our community,” she said. “But we’re looking at responsible dog ownership — controlling dogs, children being accompanied, we’re looking at a minimum age to be in there without an adult.
“And we will work very closely with the county to ensure responsible dog owners use the park — that, yes, they clean up after themselves. Yes, they control their dogs. Yes, they bring well-behaved dogs to the park. We’ll probably limit it to two dogs, as well.”
County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed commended the group for their work on the project.
“I know y’all have done a great deal of work on this and very quickly, and very thoroughly I might add — and that helps us a great deal,” he said. “About the only thing the county will provide is the land and a water line (to the park), and we are committed to that.”
The agreement between the county notes the county would be responsible for the basic maintenance for the property, but that the group will be responsible for building the park, additional insurance and upkeep of the park.
“What specifically the county was going to do is do the clearing, grubbing, grading of the land, and (provide access to) the water line, and any material objects to be used for this like fence or anything else that needs to be done for the construction of this is paid for by the bark park,” County Administrator Ray Pittman said, noting the county still owns the land.
In a press release issued by the Bryan County Bark Park board, President Wendy Bolton said the group is pleased with the commissioner’s decision.
“This is wonderful news and we are confident of reaching our fundraising goals to enable us to start work on the allocated land within Henderson Park, which is a beautiful area alongside water and with plenty of trees,” she said.
“We have already received some generous donations and people have been giving their spare change in the collection boxes around town. Our fundraising event on April 25 will be an important part of reaching our initial goal of $10,000 to start building the Bark Park.”
The group’s fundraiser — a wine and cheese event — is set for 5-8 p.m. April 25 at Marker 107.
Read more in the April 17 edition of the News.