It took 11 years and more than 300 truckloads of dirt to get Evansville’s only dog park, Central Bark, up and running.
“I went to New York and became crazy about the idea of a dog park,” says Alice Rademacher, president of the nonprofit Evansville Dog Owners Group. “When we asked the board of commissioners for a dog park though, they were hesitant.”
Concerns about misbehaving dogs and a lack of funding sparked the formation of Evansville Dog Owners Group to raise funds for Central Bark. The nonprofit park currently has around 130 members who pay $30 for a yearly membership plus a one-time joining fee of $10 that helps maintain the park.
“The city required us to do the park as membership only, which turned out to be a blessing,” says Rademacher. “It helped us ensure things like (the dogs’) behavior, vaccinations, funding for the future, and more.”
The park, which opened in 2010, covers 2 acres in the northeastern corner of Kleymeyer Park — a former landfill site until the group trucked in new dirt. The park is accessible each day, and dogs in Vanderburgh and the surrounding counties are welcome to join, provided they meet certain behavioral, registration, and vaccination requirements. Additionally, the group will host Halloween events including a dog costume party Oct. 28. The contest will have different categories and trophies.
“We’ve learned a lot since we started the park,” says Rademacher. “It’s been a great way for people and their dogs to socialize.”
For more information about Central Bark Dog Park, visit evansvilledogpark.org.