A couple dozen dogs and their human companions turned out Friday afternoon for the “Grand Unleashing” of the Hermiston Bark Park.
Hermiston Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter said the park, situated next to the spray pad at Butte Park, had been about 10 years in the planning, with the key decision being where to locate it.
“I think we found a winner with this location,” Fetter said.
The park is divided into two sections – a full acre for the big dogs and a quarter acre for small dogs.
The park’s opening had been delayed and Fetter said the new Funland Playground has taken up much of the department’s attention and effort this year. The playground is expected to open in mid-June with a dedication set for the Fourth of July. But on Friday, those in attendance – especially the four-legged ones – could care less about Funland and had their minds set on romping around and making new friends.
The park isn’t yet complete, although it’s been open for several months. Fetter said benches and more garbage cans will be added, and a kiosk will be included.
Parks department employee Brandon Artz encouraged the public to take ownership of the park.
“Treat this park as your own and enjoy it,” he said.
Parks and Rec Committee Chairman Jeff Kelso praised the city for creating the new park.
“It’s a great accomplishment for the city,” he said.