(OSCEOLA, IA – December 1, 2021) The City of Osceola is excited about a new park coming to town…a dog park. The dog park is under construction. It will be located at 801 E McLane Street and will eventually have a connection to the East Lake Trail.


The park was a dream of local teenager Lauren Barker. Lauren was a frequent volunteer at the Osceola animal shelter.  Lauren’s family says this park is:

Lauren Barker

“To Lauren, whose unselfish approach of bringing love and compassion to every animal that was fortunate enough to cross paths with her. To her beauty and constant ability to listen and understand any animal and person that needed it. Simply put, all Lauren showed was unconditional love. Everyone who knew Lauren can all agree that her compassion was legendary. Day after day she proved undoubtedly that she was full of loyalty and empathy, that she was a true friend and an advocate for making sure the little guy was always stuck up for. No matter if that little guy was a fellow student or a wandering cat along her street that just needed someone. “

Lauren tragically lost her life, at the age of 16, with two of her friends in 2016 in a single-car accident. In June 2017, a memorial golf tournament was held in honor of Lauren Barker which raised a little over $11,000 to assist in making “Lauren’s Bark Park” a reality.

Additional funding was received from individuals and local organizations donating to the cause. The Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) was an important part of making this dream a reality.  The City of Osceola purchased the old motel located east of town for $50,000 with a CCDC Grant.

The Osceola Volunteer Fire Department did a practice burn on the motel for training purposes. The land was then cleared and prepared for the park. CCDC also funded the new sign for the park. The sign features the City of Osceola Logo and the name “Lauren’s Bark Park”

Lauren’s Bark Park is scheduled to open in the spring of 2022. The park will contain two fenced-in areas with access gates where dog owners can exercise their pets. There will be one small and one large dog area. In addition there will be a parking lot, 3 benches and dog waste stations installed. Tim Riddle, City of Osceola Parks & Rec Director says,

            “The creation of Lauren’s Bark Park will allow dog owners a safe environment to let their dog’s run off leash in a contained area. It’s a great way for the dogs to get some exercise.”

The City of Osceola Parks and Recreation Board approved the rules for the park at the November board meeting. All users of the park must have a permit from City Hall to use the facility.  The additional rules of the dog park are as follows:

General Requirements:

*Must be on a leash while entering and exiting park.

*Be current on rabies vaccination certification.

*Be over 4 months of age and in good health.

*Large Dog area is limited to dogs GREATER than 25 lbs.

*Small Dog area is limited to smaller dogs LESS than 25 lbs.

Park Rules:

*Dog Park hours are sunrise to sunset.

*Enter the appropriate play area according to your dog’s size.

*Handlers shall pick up and dispose of their dog’s waste with bags provided.

*Gates shall be kept closed at all times.

*Children under 9 years of age may NOT enter fenced area for safety reasons.

*Children 9 years of age to 17 years of age must be with an adult at all times.

*Dog handler must be 18 years of age with 1 or 2 dogs only.

*Dog handler must closely supervise their dogs and, at no time, can leave them unattended.

*Owners are responsible and liable for any damage cause by their dogs.

*Dog owners who do not adhere to the rules set by the Osceola Park and Recreation Board will be requested to leave and/or banned from future use of the dog park.

Not Permitted:

*Children under 9 years of age.

*Food or drink except small training dog treats.

*Tobacco or alcohol.

*Female dogs during their heat cycle.

*Aggressive, sick or lame dogs.

*Animals other than dogs.

For more information about Lauren’s Bark Park, please contact the Osceola Parks & Rec Department at 641-342-2288, email: triddle@osceolaia.net.

If you have questions or would like more information about the developments around Clarke County and Osceola, Iowa, please contact Bill Trickey, Executive Director, Phone:641-342-2944, email: info@clarkecountyiowa.com.



Lauren Barker

Bark Park Sign

Media Contact:

Elizabeth Simpson

Clarke County Development Corporation

Web site: https://osceolaclarkedev.com

Phone: (641) 342-2944

Email: info@clarkecountyiowa.com