News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 18, 2013

City wants sponsors for new ‘Bark Park’

Brian Boyce
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Parks officials hope to sniff out potential sponsors for a planned “Bark Park” near Fairbanks Park.

Eddie Bird, superintendent of the Terre Haute City Parks and Recreation Department, told board members at their meeting on Wednesday that given the strong public support for the project, he’s seeking financial assistance for its construction.

“We’re going to try to find some sponsors,” he said, explaining his own budget has yet to be approved by the state. Given cuts to his and other municipal agencies, the proposed park for pet-owners and their dogs might have to be phased in over a few years, he said.

The collaborative venture between the city and Vectren would be located on about three acres at the north end of Fairbanks Park owned by the utility. Vectren has stated its plans include capping off the site and adding up to three feet of topsoil as part of an environmental restrictive covenant agreed to with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

City planner Pat Martin said the estimated cost of the project is about $150,000.

“And that’s rough. The vast majority of that is for dirt,” he said, adding the cost of fencing is also a big factor.

In other business, Jane Santucci approached the board requesting it consider Christmas tree disposal services beginning in 2014. Parks departments in cities such as Indianapolis and Chicago already provide this option for residents, and last year, 14,300 trees were recycled in Chicago alone, she said.

Bird said the recycled trees could be used for trail mulch or fish pond bedding.

“I think it’s a great idea,” he said, adding the department will begin looking into options regarding collection dates and times.

In other business, the board elected Mike Webster as president, Gordan Brya as vice president and John Wright as secretary-treasurer.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or