Broad Ripple Dog Park Reopens With New Amenities & Fresh Terrain
Photographer / Michael Durr
Dogs throughout the city now have a revamped and refurbished park in the heart of Broad Ripple in which to frolic and play.
Indy Parks and Recreation leaders recently undertook a complete overhaul of Broad Ripple Dog Park including an artificial turf infield, new play equipment, a hexagonal shelter for protection from the elements, a drinking fountain, new benches and tables and a free stainless steel dog wash station.
“The dog park has been loved very dearly by many of our patrons and has endured a lot of wear and tear,” says Don Colvin, deputy director of Indy Parks. “It was time for an upgrade, and we’re very glad to be able to offer this to the city.”
It’s the first such upgrade for Broad Ripple Dog Park, which was the first of Marion County’s four dog parks, having opened back in 1999, and the city contracted with Morphey Construction for the site work including chain link fence reconstruction and installation of artificial turf and concrete slabs. An additional 10,000 square feet was also appended to the enclosed park.
A few key pieces fell into place in recent years to help make the renovation a reality, including a $15,000 grant for the park in 2016 as a result of a second-place performance in the Beneful Dream Dog Park Makeover Contest.
“Also, we were doing a Broad Ripple Park master plan, and that’s a very high-level vision for the whole park and how the different areas work together and complement each other,” Colvin explains. “So it was the perfect time to engage the community and ask what their vision was for the Dog Park, and out of that plan came the improvements that you see out there today.”
The design process for the Dog Park started in July of 2017, and construction ran from February until September of this year. A grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in August with Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indy Parks Director Linda Broadfoot in attendance.
“We heard a lot of great feedback at the grand opening when we were able to meet and greet some of the Dog Park goers and their furry companions,” says Ronnetta Spalding, chief communications officer for Indy Parks. “We’d been talking about redoing the Dog Park for several years now, so actually having something finished and functional that looks really great compared to what it was like is satisfying.”
Colvin says synthetic turf has become a trend nationwide in urban dog parks, and Broad Ripple Park’s new surface consists of 12 inches of compacted stone under the artificial turf material. An irrigation system was also added to help keep the park clean and sanitary.
“We needed to maintain the park at a little higher level. We tried re-sodding park terrain multiple times, but because of the park’s large size at just under two acres, that was an inconvenience because we always had to close the park for quite a period of time,” Colvin says. “The artificial turf is a good medium to put down and eliminates many challenges with mud, even though you can’t completely avoid mud and dirt.”
Indy Parks officials decided to add a few small hills to the previously flat terrain, which Colvin says was the result of patron feedback.
“We heard from the community and people wanted places for their dogs to run and experience activities, so we made some earthen mounds to add variety and break up the spaces a little bit,” he says. “We also added a kiosk so the community can post information for guests.”
Colvin says the response he’s gotten from locals so far has been positive, particularly from dog owners with small yards at home who depend on local parks to afford their canine companions the exercise they need to stay healthy.
“We have a few maintenance items still to take care of with some of the grass and things, and we’re hoping to solve that this fall,” he says. “Overall we’re getting good responses.”
Broad Ripple Park serves more than 300,000 people annually, including approximately 1,500 patrons at the Dog Park, which is open year-round.
For info on Broad Ripple Dog Park fees as well as rules and etiquette, go to indy.gov/activity/find-a-dog-park.