Of all the dog parks in Dallas, Bark Park Central may have the most interesting location and an even more interesting story.

Being the closest dog park to Oak Cliff, the Bark Park is my and Sookie’s park of choice. I took her there on the Friday after Thanksgiving for a little exercise and it could not have been a more perfect day for it. Neighbors from the nearby Farmers Market district as well as Deep Ellum created a constant stream of new dogs and people to socialize with.

I’ve noticed a whole lot of improvements at the park since I first went a few years back. First of all, they have replaced what used to be a consistently muddy, sunless patch of land with mulch. The mulch is visually a nice warm touch to design. Its also very practical and cost effective, since mulch absorbs moisture and also is easy to replace and maintain. A few other improvements were the addition of platforms, new dog-bone shaped benches for humans and new water fountains with several dog-specific attachments.

Bark Park Central is a private/public venture between the city Parks Department, the Deep Ellum Public Improvement District and the Downtown Improvement District. Development funds came mostly from the private donators, such as the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Fund (who provided the sculpture in the middle of the park).

The organizations above were a major reason for the parks success but local residents and volunteers were instrumental in helping community leaders, Barry Annino and Jennifer Selzer, successfully finance the development of the park.

With this type of collaboration and passion, there is no reason to doubt Oak Cliff can put together a park of this quality.

If you are passionate about dog ownership, I urge you to contact myself at robbie@dfwfido.org