City of Harlingen to host grand opening for new dog park

City of Harlingen to host grand opening for new dog park

POSTED: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 1:02pm

UPDATED: Friday, June 20, 2014 - 1:00pm

A special outdoor facility in Harlingen designed for dogs and their owners will celebrate its grand opening in Victor Park at 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 20, 2014.

The public is welcome to join the Rotary Club of Harlingen and the City of Harlingen for the ceremony at the new Harlingen Rotary Bark Park. The event will include refreshments for dogs and their human companions; there is no admission fee. Pets and their owners will find exercise and agility opportunities at the facility.

The 4.5-acre segment of city owned land at Victor Park, located along Interstate 69E on the city’s south side, includes two sections to separate large dogs and small dogs. Besides walking trails there is an agility course with a set of rings or hoops, two jump obstacles, and a tube. A water fountain offers participants bubblers at three levels – adults, handicap accessibility and canines. The Harlingen WaterWorks System donated four old fire hydrants for the dog park.

Rotary Club President Tre Peacock said the Rotary Club’s fundraisers brought in $18,000 to purchase the fences and water fountain. The city’s budget for the Bark Park is slightly more than $34,900. Phase two of Bark Park development plans include a dog-bone-shape trail within the area for large dogs.

Peacock said he’s optimistic more community organizations and businesses will become involved with the facility. The Bark Park project for the Rotary Club began with a suggestion from Emily Bartnesky, who knew of similar parks in other cities.

“We started brainstorming right then and eventually the Rotary Club board was ‘on board’ with supporting it,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a great addition to our city because it relates to our club motto, ‘Service above self.’ This is for the citizens of Harlingen so it will be used however the city chooses to use it.”

Some of the future uses for the park could include promoting pet adoption, special activities for children, and training for dogs that assist handicapped individuals, Peacock said.

Bark Park rules are posted at the park. Owners are legally responsible for their dogs; no aggressive dogs are allowed; owners should clean up after their pets; dogs must display a valid license and rabies vaccination tags, and dogs must be on leashes.

For details about the park or scheduling events there, please contact the Harlingen Parks & Recreation Department at (956) 216-5951. Department information also is available via social media and the city’s home website,


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