(OSCEOLA, IA – July 18, 2022) The City of Osceola is excited about a new addition to the trail system, a connector to Lauren’s Bark Park. The dog park is located at 801 E McLane Street and will now 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 before she tragically lost her life in a car accident in 2016. Funding was raised in her memory to create Lauren’s Bark Park.

Now access to the park will become easier through the connection of the bark park to the existing East Lake Trail. The paved trail will be extended along the south and west side of the bark park. It will be 8 foot wide and will run a length of approximately 800 feet. This trail continues on to connect to East Elementary School.

Depiction of new trail placement

Funding for the project was provided through a grant approved by the Clarke County Development Corporation at their June board meeting. The cost of the project is projected to be $35,860. CCDC funds available for grant funding are received from Lakeside Casino.

Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director, states,

” This extension of the trail system within Osceola is a great addition. It is always great to see families outside walking the trails and now they can walk their dogs safely to Lauren’s Bark Park”.

Lauren’s Bark Park is now open for use. It is important that users of the park are aware of the rules to use the park. The City of Osceola Parks and Recreation Board approved the rules for the park at the November 2021 board meeting.

Dan Cooper, Osceola Parks and Rec says.

“Osceola Parks and Recreation is very excited about the addition of the connector trail that will allow patrons and their dogs to access the park from the East Lake Trail. Parks and trails are an important part of a community. Lauren’s Bark Park offers an area for free to utilize for all ages.”

Cooper went on to say,

”Osceola Parks and Recreation Board is working with Drew Hiatt for his Eagle Scout project to build several different elements that will be placed inside the large dog park area in the near future. We also have 6 benches that will be placed outside and inside the bark park this fall.”

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: dcooper@osceolaia.net.

If you have questions or would like more information about the grant programs offered by Clarke County Development, please contact Elizabeth Simpson at (641) 342-2944 or email her at esimpson@clarkecountyiowa.com.