This project slowed by weather will soon be Butler County’s newest dog park

Caption: The city’s yet-to-be-named dog park is set to be completed later this summer. The park is more than just a dog park as it will be a trail head hub for the Great Miami River Trail and will connect with the bike path to Marsh Park. Pictured is the progress of the construction on May 16, 2019. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Once the infrastructure for the city’s new dog park is in place, construction will move quickly, officials said.

Until then, progress on the planned park and Great Miami River trailhead will appear slow.

“We’re just at the beginning of June, ”said Fairfield Parks and Recreation Director Tiphanie Howard. “The difficult part of the project is happening now.”

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That’s moving dirt, clearing out trees and getting the infrastructure in place, she said. Crews have already installed curbs and part of the driveway that leads from River Road, setting the shape for the park.

There’s not a date set for the park to open, but officials have targeted late summer. That is assuming the weather cooperates, which it has not.

“Of course with that being a lower-lying area we’ve had to deal with a lot of wet weather,” Howard said. “We’ll get two days of sun and three days of rain, and a day of sun and two days of rain. Our rain days are definitely outweighing our sunny days. You can’t get frustrated at the weather because you can’t control it.”

But once construction workers can string more than a few consecutive days, progress will move swiftly, she said. Once the infrastructure is completed, “the rest is going to happen fairly quickly,” Howard said.

A later feature for the multi-use dog park is to connect the yet-to-be-named park with Marsh Park, just a few hundred feet north on River Road.

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The city has applied for a $700,000 OKI Regional Council of Governments grant to pay for most of the $1.1 million project, which would bisect Marsh Park and run across River Road and down to the multi-use park, according to the tentative plans. Since the new park will also be a trailhead for the Great Miami River Bike Trail, Howard said it will connect Fairfield with its neighboring communities, “and it will get people to our park.”

If OKI awards the city the grant, funds would bid the bike path project in 2023, said Fairfield City Engineer Ben Mann. If the grant is denied, the city will re-apply but the project would likely be pushed back until funding is secured.

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