Biscuit Acres Bark Park has been such a howling success that some folks are barking about creating a Biscuit Acres 2.
“We really need another one,” Becky Clark told the Tulsa Park and Recreation Board this past week.
Nearly seven years ago, Clark and others, including park founder John Benjamin, worked with the Park Board to secure a piece of Hunter Park, 5804 East 91st St., for use as a dog park.
Now you can’t visit Biscuit Acres — especially on weekends — without being greeted by dogs of all sizes and shapes.
And by dogs, I mean lots and lots of dogs.
On summer and spring weekends, as many as 800 to 1,000 people with dogs visit the park, said Clark, president of Biscuit Acres Volunteer Association.
“We’ve had volunteers actually stay and count. We’ve had over 200 people in the park at once with their dogs.
“So there is a definite need, or demand, for another option for people to go to so it doesn’t get overcrowded.”
Not bad for a 2.5-acre parcel of land that had nothing on it when the city donated the land in 2009.
Clark said the Southside Rotary Club has been huge help, providing funding for fences, an irrigation system and other infrastructure needs.
The Biscuit Acres Volunteer Association’s roughly 45 volunteers handle most of the day-to-day maintenance of the park, while the Park and Recreation Department mows the grass, plants and fertilizes the grass in the spring, and fixes things when they break.
“It’s a team effort,” said Park and Recreation Department Director Lucy Dolman.
Clark estimates that the volunteer association’s major fundraiser, Pancakes for Pooches, raised $8,000 this year — two-thirds of the association’s operating revenues.
Park users typically find it in themselves to donate money at the dog park’s annual anniversary parties, Clark said.
“Even though it’s free, people still donate,” she said.
Clark believes the south Tulsa location is key to the dog park’s success.
“People in south Tulsa love to bring their dogs to the dog park,” she said. “It’s safe and secure.”
But it all wouldn’t work without the volunteers.
“The success, honestly, is (the result) of the board members we have,” Clark said.
Janet Powell brought her dog to the park Friday morning. She said she’s been to dog parks all over the country.
“They don’t hold a candle to this one,” she said. “I think it’s one of the best in the country; we’ve been to a lot.”
Building Biscuit Acres 2, then, would seem like a no-brainer.
Not exactly. During the park board meeting, Dolman told Clark that before the Parks Department can move forward on finding a site for another dog park, the department and Biscuit Acres Volunteer Association need to sign a users agreement on the original Biscuit Acres.
In other words, the city and Biscuit Acres Volunteer Association need to put in writing what each entity is responsible for.
Clark told Dolman she’s cool with that.
“That’s a great idea,” Clark said. “I’ll sign an agreement, you give me a park.”
Of course, it won’t be that simple. Dolman said after the meeting that she has no parks in mind and won’t move forward on the selection process until the users agreement for Biscuit Acres is in place.
But she also spoke glowingly of what has been accomplished at Biscuit Acres.
“If they want to put the backbone into this and have the number of active members, it’s something we need to look into,” Dolman said.
The city’s other dog park is at Joe Station, 2279 Charles Page Boulevard.