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Bark Park debuts

Downtown site is going to the dogs

-Submitted photo
Representatives of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Nestle Purina PetCare, Main Street Fort Dodge and the city government came together Tuesday to formally open the Bark Park with a ribboncutting ceremony.

Dogs and their people now have a grassy place to play in downtown Fort Dodge.

Called the Bark Park, it is located at First Avenue South and 12th Street. Two big metal sculptures of dogs made by Fort Dodge Senior High School students mark the spot.

The park resulted from a partnership of Main Street Fort Dodge, Nestle Purina PetCare and industrial technology students at the senior high school.

A Tuesday afternoon ribbon cutting by the Ambassadors of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance formally opened the park.

“At Purina, we believe people and pets are better together, and providing the Bark Park to the Fort Dodge community where our factory and associates call home was the perfect opportunity,” said Trever Morgan, the manager of the Nestle Purina PetCare plant in Fort Dodge.

-Submitted photo
This metal sculpture is one of two decorating the Bark Park at 12th Street and First Avenue South. Both sculptures were made by Fort Dodge Senior High School students in the welding fabrication classes. The concrete bases the sculptures sit on were made by students in the senior high school’s masonry and concrete classes.

“It is an honor to sponsor the Bark Park, but even more so to partner with Main Street Fort Dodge and Fort Dodge Senior High School industrial tech students to make it come to life,” he added.

Students in the welding fabrication classes made the two dog sculptures, two metal benches and two receptacles for dog waste. Students in the masonry and concrete classes poured the slabs of concrete that the sculptures and benches sit on.

“The industrial tech program is focused on hands-on experiences and helping students gain occupational skills,” Morgan said. “It was rewarding to work with the students on this project and provide experiences they can take with them into their careers.”

Dogs must be kept on a leash within the park. And their owners must pick up after them.

The concept of a dog park at that site was publicly introduced in January 2022. Early in the planning process it was proposed to call the site the Barking Lot.

-Submitted photo
Representatives of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Nestle Purina PetCare, Main Street Fort Dodge and the city government came together Tuesday to formally open the Bark Park with a ribboncutting ceremony.

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