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Petition circulating to bring dog park to Campbellsville

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The group has gathered more than 300 signatures so far

By Zac Oakes

 

A petition is circulating locally to create a dog park in the Campbellsville/Taylor County community. 

Dylan Ford, an assistant track and cross country coach at Campbellsville University, recently started the petition with a small group of friends to create a safe place for people to bring their dogs to and let them play. 

“Throughout the past year, I have met a lot of people and became friends with people who have dogs,” Ford said. “I just hear all the time people talking about how there is nowhere safe, that is fenced in that they can take their dogs, and that is dog-specified and let them run loose, and how they wish there was a place like that in Campbellsville.

So a group of us got together and decided to take that step forward to try to create an environment like that, that would allow a place like that for the community to bring their dogs to and let them run in a safe, friendly location.” 

They initially set a goal of 200 signatures, but were able to pass that fairly quickly. On Monday, Ford said between an online petition and a hard copy petition, they had already collected more than 300 signatures and the number was continuing to grow. 

“It was just a small group of us that started this, but we have really had a ton of support from the community,” Ford said. “We started with the petition just to see how much interest there was and what the reaction would be, but very quickly it exploded and it was awesome. We have several hundred signatures and it just continues to rise.” 

Ultimately, Ford and his friends plan to present their idea and petitions to Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young and the Campbellsville City Council. Ford said he has been in contact with city hall working to set up a meeting with Young to discuss their idea and gain feedback. 

Although Ford and his group will be meeting with city officials, he emphasized that the dog park will be a community location and encouraged those who live in the county to also sign the petition and support their idea. 

For now, Ford said he and his friends are continuing to study locations and work on some basic rules for the park. Among those include splitting the park into two areas—one for smaller dogs and one for larger dogs—as well as setting hours of operation and rules on vaccinations and other shots, as well as age requirements for owners, such as not allowing anyone under age 12 to be there without a guardian present. 

Ford said the park’s rules all come back to ensuring that the park would be a safe and fun environment for dogs and their owners. 

“Separating larger and smaller dogs makes it a much more safe environment for the dogs, which is of utmost importance to us,” Ford said. “And we are looking at having the hours be sunrise-sunset because we think it wouldn’t be a good idea to be open after dark. 

Ford said it would ultimately be up to elected officials to decide where the park would go, but he mentioned an area at the Trace Pitman Walking Track, an area Ford said he particularly likes due to restrooms nearby as well as the general location and space available. 

“We’re looking at the big field there as you enter in from the soccer fields,” Ford said. “It’s really close to parking, there is a public bathroom right there, and there is quick access to your car in the case of an emergency.” 

Ford also said he and the group have also looked at the city-owned lot next to the old H&W building as a possible location, but they are continuing to leave their options open to see what the mayor and council members have in mind for a potential location if they approve of the idea. 

The petition can be signed online by clicking here. Ford said people need to make sure to include their street address when signing. For those who want to sign a hard copy petition, Ford said he can be reached through Facebook by searching “Dylan Ford” or he can be frequently found in Downtown Campbellsville.