The newly opened Kenai Bark Park is seen in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

The newly opened Kenai Bark Park is seen in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Bark Park welcomes 1st pawed patrons

The grand opening came roughly five years after the project was first approved

Paws hit fresh grass at the new Kenai Bark Park on Friday after a grand opening for the new space located at the Daubenspeck Family Park near Walmart.

The grand opening came roughly five years after the project was first approved by the Kenai City Council. It covers around 1.5 acres and the City of Kenai provided around $88,000 in funding. Park organizers raised at least a further $43,000. The bulk of construction occurred this year, after in 2022 the space’s footprint was expanded and the project was taken on by the city as a capital project.

“It’s been a long time to get here,” Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel said before cutting the ribbon and opening the space.

Gabriel credited completion of the project to the involvement of several community partners and organizations, who are recognized in a mural at the park’s entrance.

“You can honestly say that this was a community effort,” he said. “You hear about ‘it takes a village.’ This is a project that actually did take a village.”

The park features a fenced-in space for putting on and taking off leashes, and two separate zones for “Large Paws” and “Small Paws.” There’s agility equipment, benches and a walking path, as well as a large field.

Moments after the park was opened, three dogs were its first guests. Bella, a larger dog with a tongue hanging several inches out of her mouth, bounded excitedly up and down the grass, climbing the agility equipment with ease. Xulu, a smaller dog with long hair, was content to watch the excitement. A dachshund named Lilly very much wanted her dad to pick her up when the friendly Bella came looking for introductions.

For more information about the Kenai Bark Park, visit https://www.facebook.com/KenaiDogPark.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

Lena Wissner, Brian Gabriel, and Tyler Best cut the ribbon at a grand opening ceremony for the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Lena Wissner, Brian Gabriel, and Tyler Best cut the ribbon at a grand opening ceremony for the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Attendees of the grand opening of the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, view a wall with the names of contributors for the project on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Attendees of the grand opening of the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, view a wall with the names of contributors for the project on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Bella tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Bella tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Bella tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Bella tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Xulu tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Xulu tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Benches are ready for use at the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Benches are ready for use at the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Agility equipment is ready for use at the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Agility equipment is ready for use at the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Agility equipment is ready for use at the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Agility equipment is ready for use at the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Bella tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Bella tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Bella tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Bella tests out the newly opened Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign identifies a space for larger dogs at the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign identifies a space for larger dogs at the Kenai Bark Park in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

Council member James Baisden speaks in favor of an amendment to the City of Kenai’s budget that would add funds for construction of a veteran’s memorial column in the Kenai Cemetery during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai budget amendment allocates funds for veterans’ columbarium in cemetery expansion

A columbarium is an aboveground structure that houses cremated remains

Council member Alex Douthit speaks in favor of an amendment to the CIty of Kenai’s budget that would reduce funds allocated to the Storefront and Streetscape Improvement Program during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Funding reduced for City of Kenai’s storefront improvement grant program

Just over a year after the City of Kenai established its Storefront… Continue reading

Mount Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Hilcorp only bidder in Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale

8 million acres were available for bidding in the sale, spread across Cook Inlet and the Alaska Peninsula region

Council member Phil Daniel speaks during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
City of Kenai approves budget

A draft of the document says that the city expects to bring in around $19.5 million in the next year, and spend $20.2 million

A sockeye salmon rests atop a cooler at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
A sockeye salmon rests atop a cooler at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kasilof River personal use setnet opening delayed

Low counts for Kenai River early-run king salmon motivate restriction

Ben Meyer, environmental scientist and water quality coordinator for the Kenai Watershed Forum, teaches children about young salmon freshly pulled from the Kenai River during the Kenai River Fair at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, June 7, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai River Fair debuts with array of activities and education

Previously called the Kenai River Festival, the newly refocused fair featured booths and activities dedicated to education about the outdoors, wildlife and ecosystems

A sign welcomes visitors on July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward Pride Alliance rallies after bomb threat displaces drag story hour

The event was able to continue after a delay and a fundraising effort has brought in more than $13,000

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
City of Kenai Public Works Director Scott Curtain; City of Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel; Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Peter Micciche; Sen. Lisa Murkowski; Col. Jeffrey Palazzini; Elaina Spraker; Adam Trombley; and Kenai City Manager Terry Eubank cut the ribbon to celebrate the start of work on the Kenai River Bluff Stabilization Project on the bluff above the Kenai River in Kenai on Monday.
‘The future is bright for the City of Kenai’

Kenai celebrates start of bluff stabilization project after developing for 40 years

A Kenai Peninsula Food Bank truck in the Food Bank parking lot on Aug. 4, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s Spring Festival set for Friday

The event will feature a wide swath of vendors, including lots of nonprofits, who will be sharing information about their services

Most Read