After being opened in a temporary location since August 2007, Buffalo’s Barkyard finally has its permanent home at the south end of D.A.R. Drive in LaSalle Park. Mayor Byron Brown formally cut the ribbon Friday for the off-leash park, which allows dogs of all sizes to run free.
Buffalo Off-Leash Areas, Inc. and Buffalo MicroParks first opened the temporary location in 2007 near the Colonel Ward Pumping Station and the site became a huge hit. More than 2,000 owners and their pooches visited the spot each week to allow the dogs to frolic as they wanted. “The Barkyard has been a tremendous success, both for the dogs that benefit from this great facility and their owners, who are able to provide their pets with exercise in a great setting,” Brown said.
The success of the temporary Barkyard gave way to this new and improved, permanent version, which was funded exclusively through donations. The new spot is nearly three times the size of the trial location and includes a fenced-off area for small dogs to ensure their safety. The new site also includes a 4-foot vinyl-coated fence to simultaneously allow unobstructed views and safe play.
Buffalo Off-Leash Areas President R. Reed Stevens said, “Today, this accomplishment of a new, properly designed dog park is important not only because it provides a safe place for dogs to exercise, but it is an example of the positive, simple, but significant things that can be achieved in our community when government partners with grass roots organizations.”
Of course, some improvements are still needed to the new Barkyard, including water fountains and shelters to extend use of the park to 12 months every year. Brown also announced that the city has allocated more than $26,000 in the 2009 budget to a parking lot for the site.
Jay McCarthy, president of Buffalo MicroParks, also has big plans for the future: “Our goal is to create a waterfront dotted with parks that serve as small oases to the residents of Buffalo. To that end, our next plans involve the development of a fishing park and a skate plaza.”
The Barkyard is open every day from dawn until dusk. There are certain rules to ensure the safety of all dogs; for instance, owners must be able to see their dogs at all times and animals that are frequently aggressive towards others are not permitted. A complete list of rules and other information about the park can be found at its Web site. You can also find information about becoming a Bark Ranger volunteer or how to donate to the Barkyard at their site.