It’s official: A dog park is coming to Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
The project was confirmed earlier this month when the city completed the purchase of land at Mill Creek Drive and 15th Street, formerly owned by Henderson State University (Arkansas State University System).
Planning for the new dog park began several years ago when city officials conducted a survey to find out what residents loved about Arkadelphia, and what they would like to see added to Arkadelphia. The response was overwhelming – Residents loved Feaster Trail and hoped one day a dog park would be established within city limits.
It was then city officials began working on plans for the city’s first dog park. They began by scouting locations around the city, with the hope they would find one near Feaster Trail. After looking at multiple locations, officials realized the best location would be the green space running parallel to Feaster Trail owned by HSU. In October 2022, the university accepted the city’s bid to purchase the property for $45,000. The agreement was finalized in April 2023.
Shortly after the survey was conducted, Clark County Leadership Class VIII learned of the project. Class member Dr. Nathan Campbell came to the city and asked of the dog park could be Class VIII’s project, with the agreement it would one day be a city-owned and operated park. City officials agreed and have been working with Class VIII on the dog park since 2019.
The Move Arkadelphia Forward Tax Initiative allowed city officials to budget $95,000 for the project, $45,000 of which was used to purchase the land.
In addition to the city’s budget, Clark County Leadership Class VIII raised $57,800 for the dog park. The class has started purchasing amenities for the park, such as shade structures, hurdles, benches, etc. Any remaining costs will be funded using the city’s budgeted $50,000.
The dog park will be comprised of two sides, one for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs. Both sides will feature shaded pavilions, walking paths, hurdles and bench seating. A parking lot for the dog park will be constructed on Mill Creek Drive. The lot will feature 10 parking spaces, with the goal the majority of residents will access the park using Feaster Trail.
As construction continues on the Feaster Trail Rehabilitation Project, city officials hope to improve the areas surrounding the 2.6-mile trail. One of those areas is the pedestrian bridge at 15th Street, which will also serve as an access point to the new dog park. With this in mind, officials will be looking into changing the surface of the bridge to feature a more “paw-friendly” walkway.
City officials plan to meet next week to discuss a construction schedule and implementation for the dog park. Further information will be released at the conclusion of that meeting.