Tulare unleashes new dog park plans

Tulare City Council approves city owned property at the 400 block of N Street for new dog park, design to come and looks to break ground next year

TULARE – After a community survey showed residentes in Tulare most desired a dog park, Tulare city council has finally approved its first ever location for the community’s furry friends. 

At the Nov. 15 city council meeting, council approved the allocation of funding to go toward the creation of the city’s first ever bark park. The Tulare Parks and Recreation Department had previously determined five possible locations for the park and finally decided on city owned property that is a little more than one acre, located at the 400 block of N Street. The council authorized $466,000 from the Regional Park Development Fee fund for design and construction of the park.

“A dog Park has risen to the top of the amenities desired for our community,” Jason Glick, parks and recreation director, said. “In our parks and recreation master plan, this is what the number one amenity was that came out in our survey.”

Now that the park and funding has been approved, three conceptual designs will be created and brought back to the parks and rec commission as well as council for final approval. No plans are set in stone as far as design goes, but what will be present is an area for small dogs and a separate area for larger breeds. 

According to Glick, the area of land is a little over an acre, and parking spots will be created on the north side of the park. Glick said they are looking at natural grass for surfacing, but that will be looked into at a later date. Glick said he is hopeful for a groundbreaking some time next year.

After the parks and recreation commission sent out a community survey, it was apparent residents of Tulare wanted a dog park. Now that the city has approved funding, the parks and recreation department can get a start on further design and eventually construction. 

The location on N Street was chosen by a 7-0 vote from the parks and recreation commission for several reasons. It is a central location, with proximity to a major trail–the Santa Fe Trail– it is a substantial distance from schools and parking would not impact any residential neighborhood.  

In October, parks and recreation narrowed their search to five locations for a possible park around Tulare: Blain Park, on M street south of Cartmill Avenue.; Elk Bayou Park, on Avenue 200 south of the International Agri- Center; Belmont Basin, near Tulare Western High School on Belmont and Pleasant; and two city owned properties, one off the Santa Fe Trail near N and O street, near the library; and another on the corner lot of Alpine Avenue and Nelder Grove Street. 

According to the parks and rec department, dog parks are usually between half an acre to one full acre. The plan to bring a dog park to Tulare began after public advocacy rose to the forefront of wanted park amenities. The dog park in Tulare is just a piece of the overall puzzle as parks and recreation is in the process of creating an entire masterplan for the department, according to Glick. This master plan will lay out the next 10 to 15 years for the department. It is much needed as the last time something of this caliber was done was in 2006. The city’s master plan is still being built and information is still being gathered from the community. 

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