Dog Park cuts ribbon

By Ashley Fike
Kern Valley Sun

Photo by Ashley Fike / Kern Valley Sun
Community representatives stand by as the ribbon is untied and the Kern River Valley’s new dog park is officially opened. Left to right: Monica O’Brien, Kern River/Lake Isabella Board of Realtors; Fred Clark, Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce; Kris Elliott, organizer; Debbie Freeland, Representative for Kern County First District Supervisor Mick Gleason; Kathe Malouf, organizer; Karene Williams, Lake Isabella-Bodfish Property Owner Association and George & Darlene Randall Skate Park Volunteer Treasurer; Colleen Bulgarelli, AltaOne Federal Credit Union; Pat Connell, Kern River Valley Exchange Club; Matt Howard, Kern County General Services Division, Parks & Recreation; and Ross Elliott, organizer.

The Kern River Valley Dog Park held a grand opening for pooches and humans alike on Thursday, August 1.

The park is located next to the Linda Kissack Ball Field in Lake Isabella near the location of the future George & Darlene Randall Skate Park.

Organizers Ross and Kris Elliott and Kathe Malouf thanked a number of donors for contributing to the cost of the park, with the largest donations coming from the Kern River Valley Association of Realtors, California Water Service, and Flatiron, Dragados & Sukut Joint Venture.

Funds went to installing new fencing around the area, as well as to providing a double gated concrete area to safely provide a spot to remove leashes before allowing dogs to run freely.
Organizers note that best practices for bringing a dog to any dog park include ensuring that they are current on vaccinations and flea/parasite preventatives, keeping an attentive watch over their demeanor and aggression level, and making sure they know basic commands.

And, of course, it will be important to clean up after them.

In the future, organizers of the park hope to add more waste bag dispensers and garbage cans, a water station for drinking and soaking, benches and other seating, and a canine agility course.
“The dog park was a community grassroots effort and it was made possible by the partnership with Kern County General Services Parks and Recreation Dept. and Supervisor Mick Gleason for allowing us to build the park on Kern County property. We also teamed up with many Kern River Valley businesses, organizations and individuals who supported the project through financial contributions. The dog park would not have happened without the support of the community,” said Malouf.

“The park is a work in progress, as we will be adding more features and equipment,” she continued.

“We hope residents and their fur kids use and enjoy the park and keep it clean for everyone’s enjoyment.”