By Richard Rourk
With warmer temperatures coming, many dog owners are looking for fun activities to share with their best friends.
One activity that local dog owners and their pets can now enjoy is the Erwin Bark Park, which is located on the Erwin Linear Trail near the Unicoi County Animal Shelter.
“We had a soft opening this past weekend and it went really well,” Town of Erwin Communications Specialist Jamie Rice told The Erwin Record.
The Erwin Bark Park requires all visiting dogs to be up to date on their shots and to not be aggressive. There is a full list of rules at the front gate of the park.
“We have a list available of the rules posted at the park and we advise owners to be responsible for their dogs,” Rice said. “That includes owners cleaning up after their pets. The Erwin Bark Park is a use-at-your-own-risk facility.”
According to Rice, the Erwin Bark Park is open from dusk to dawn and is separated into two sections, one for dogs over 30 pounds and one for dogs under 30 pounds.
“We have benches inside and natural play areas for the dogs,” Rice said. “We do have a water source lined up and hope to have that ready by the time hot weather hits.”
Rice acknowledged that owners may want to bring their own water source until the water line gets completed and to bring any fetch toys their dog may want to play with.
“Everybody may want to bring their own water bowls and water and bring their own fetch toys to enjoy while visiting the park,” Rice said.
According to Rice, there will be a grand opening with a ribbon cutting that will be held in the coming months. The dog park was built with the $25,000 grant that Erwin received from the Boyd Foundation Dog Park Dash in August 2018. The Boyds started the Boyd Foundation Dog Park Dash to make Tennessee the most pet-friendly state in the country.
“We hope to have the Boyds come out and maybe have some prizes to give out,” Rice said.
According to Rice, the Town of Erwin is so appreciative of everyone who made the Erwin Bark Park a reality.
“We are so thankful for the Boyds who made this possible,” Rice said. “Our parks and recreation employees have really worked hard on this and so did Rick Hensley Excavation – they were able to make a very underutilized space, where years and years of construction debris had piled up, into a wonderful 1.5 acre space.”
To keep up with the Town of Erwin Bark Park, follow the Town of Erwin on Facebook.