BARDSTOWN, KY — If all goes to plan, this time next year, an old, overgrown ball park will be turned into the Bourbon City Bark Park, and that could mean big things for the city of Bardstown.
Celeste Dawson knows how much her dogs Ben and Charlie love to play. “They need to socialize. It’s a whole different socialization, exercise, energy,” she said.
For Celeste and the rest of the dog owners in Bardstown, off-leash playtime means an hour-plus drive to Louisville. She’s relieved that, after years of waiting, a dog park is coming to Bardstown. “They’re going to love it. I know how much they love running around in that park,” she said.
The group behind the Bourbon City Bark Park just secured the land, which is now an unused ball field at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, through a lease with the state.
They’ve drawn up plans calling for two large play areas, gardens and pavilions. The park is independent from the city and won’t receive any taxpayer money. It will operate through license fees and donations. The park could help more than just the city’s dog owners.
They believe that the park will give Bardstown a dog-friendly image — one that attracts people to visit and stay.
“More people are traveling with their dogs, so I think it will be a very big plus for our community to be dog-friendly, to have a place to take their dogs, and it will bring more tourism here as well as what a great place to live,” said Dawson.