Ohio County to build dog park at fairgrounds

Photo by: Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com

From left, Ohio County Park employees Mike Sapp, Jason Earl and Dereck Nance work on digging holes for fence posts for the new dog park that will be located on the Ohio County Park grounds, near the horse arena. The park will be completed by the end of August, according to parks director Beau Wright.

Ohio County Parks Director Beau Wright is working toward a five-year goal that includes providing more activities for the public, like the dog park being built at the county park in Hartford, located off Kentucky 69 North.

The dog park will be located in the northwest portion of the park, just down from the Park Office, and to the right of the horse arena. It will include fenced in running areas for large dogs, and one for small dogs, with obstacles for the animals, as well as a portable watering station for both humans and their four-legged canine companions. Wright estimated it was about an acre total, with about 1,000 feet of fencing.

It's a small project, Wright said, that can make a big difference.

"It's just something small we can do, and maybe it can grow if it does well," he said.

Total cost for the project will be about $3,000, and park employees will be doing a majority of the work.

Wright said he came up with the idea for the dog park because he always sees people bringing their dogs to walk around the park trail, or on some of the more open park grounds. He wanted to provide those individuals with a safe space for their dogs to run free.

"This is the taxpayers park," he said, "So we're always trying to come up with little things here and there that we can do to make it a better experience."

The 500-acre park features 83 campsites and a splash pad, and one new addition: an air conditioned "tiny cabin" that can sleep two-to-four comfortably. The tiny cabin is the first of what Wright hopes to be many. He and the City of Beaver Dam are working together to provide concert-goers who come to the area to see shows at the Beaver Dam Amphitheater more options for cheap overnight stays.

"Really, it's all about bringing people to the county in general and showing them a good time," he said. "This county has a lot to offer."

Wright is also working toward some grants for solar powered lights for the three-mile walking trail at the park, and new playground equipment.

The dog park is scheduled to be completed by the end of August, but Wright and the county are reaching out to area people, organizations, and businesses who might be interested in sponsoring a sign to be displayed on the fence.

Wright said the money has already been allotted for the park, and it will be built regardless of sponsorships, but he wants the county to feel included in the project.

"It's not always about the money," he said. "It's about county citizens having some input in the project. I want them to feel like they have been a part of something."

For more information on how to sponsor a banner, call the park office at 270-298-4466.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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