LAKELAND, Fla. — Lakeland dog lovers rejoice! Another dog park is coming to the city, this one located in the city's downtown area.
- New park being called "Central Bark"
- Estimated cost $350,000
- Construction to begin in September
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Currently, downtown Lakeland residents we spoke to say there aren't many places to take their dogs for fun and exercise.
“Really, there’s nothing close to here where we can take them so they can have fun, run free, and play with other dogs,” said Denise Pech, who lives in Lake Mirror Towers.
Instead, she takes her dogs out behind her building, but then she has to worry about disturbing walkers passing by as they walk around the lake.
Pech was ecstatic when she learned a dog park will be built on the other side of the lake.
“I can’t wait. I just cannot wait," she said. "There’s a lot of dogs downtown. Here in the building where I live there are a lot of dogs, so that is going to be great."
Parks and Recreation Director Bob Donahay said there was a big push four to five years ago from downtown residents to build a dog park. However, the group was only able to raise around $7,000.
Donahay said lack of funding held the project up.
“We did three dog parks in Lakeland and we were very successful with them," he explained. "Thanks to our city manager and commission, we were able to move some things around to make this happen."
"Central Bark," as the new park is being called, will cost $350,000 to build. Donahay said it will be state-of-the-art.
“We’re not going to use grass," he said. "We’re going to use artificial turf, which is very expensive but it makes so much sense, because you can’t wear it out. Then you have modules for the dogs to run, to play up on, jump on,” Donahay said.
The dog park will be smaller than the city’s other parks. In addition, big and small dogs won’t be separated at "Central Bark."
Construction will begin in September and the park is expected to open by fall 2020.