‘Bark Park’ at Cacapon opens on Saturday

by Trish Rudder

Attention all Dog Lovers! The dogs finally get their own park.

Cacapon Resort State Park’s Dog Park will open on Saturday, October 30 after the 10 a.m. ribbo

n-cutting ceremony at the dog park entrance.

The dog park was funded by the Morgan County Commission, Cacapon Resort State Park Foundation and Cacapon Resort State Park, through in-kind services.

Its staff was used for some of the construction and it will be maintained by the state park, said Cacapon Resort State Park Foundation board member, Beth DuBoff.  She is a member of the dog park committee along with Lin Dunham, Glen Stotler and Todd Buzzerd.

“We are delighted to be part of this vision,” DuBoff said.

“This is the first dog park in West Virginia’s State Parks,” she said.

This all began with three women — Laura Breeden, Patricia Jager and Heather Stauffer – who stood outside Food Lion in 2019 and collected more than 90 signatures from people who wanted a dog park.

Jager said they went to the Morgan County Commission with the signatures to find land for a dog park. When they learned county-owned land was not suitable, they went to the Cacapon Resort State Park Foundation with their request.

Morgan County Commission president Joel Tuttle said last week he could not find county-owned land appropriate for the dog park, and he spoke to Scott Fortney, Cacapon Resort State Park Superintendent to see if there was a suitable place for the dog park there.

Tuttle said that he attended a Cacapon State Park Foundation meeting, and he and Fortney looked for and found the best site for the park. Then the Foundation and the Commission partnered to make the dog park a reality.

“This would not have happened without the three women in 2019,” DuBoff said last week.

Tuttle said the Commission donated $12,500 of about the $30,000 cost for improvements to the one-and-half-acre park, which includes fencing, signage, and concrete pads for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) individuals at the openings of the dog gates.

The park is divided into two areas. Dogs 30 pounds and under and elderly dogs are in one area and dogs 30 plus pounds in another.

Jager said there is a long list of rules displayed at the dog park, including that a dog must have a license, they must be spayed or neutered, they must be vaccinated and the owner must stay with the dog.

DuBoff said benches for people are to be placed inside the fenced areas, but are not there yet.

She said Fortney started a commemorative bench donation project recently where 50 commemorative benches are to be placed throughout all of the state park, including the dog park.

DuBoff said there will directional signs to the Bark Park that is located near the Batt Picnic Shelter area and on the way to the Overlook.