Clinton’s going to the dogs

Pets show up all excited as park opens

  • The first dogs enter the new Clinton Dog Park as the gate is opened on Friday, Nov. 5. - G. Chambers Williams III

  • Carmen Willis of Clinton waits with her blonde Labrador retriever Tallulah Belle for the new Clinton Dog Park, be- hind her, to open on Friday afternoon, Nov. 5. - G. Chambers Williams III

  • Clinton Mayor Scott Burton, center, helps cut the ribbon officially opening the new Clinton dog park on Friday, Nov. 5. To his left is Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank. On Burton’s right is city Parks and Recreation Director Jason Brown, who oversaw design and construction. - G. Chambers Williams III

Dogs have a new, wide-open and safe place to run and play in Clinton since last Friday afternoon’s opening of the new Carden Farm Dog Park.

City officials, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, and representatives of the Randy Boyd Foundation turned out for a ribbon-cutting to officially open the park, on Riverside Drive off Carden Farm Road in South Clinton.

Waiting eagerly were about a dozen dogs, along with their owners, excited to experience the expansive facility for the first time.

Harrison Forbes from the Boyd Foundation said the Clinton dog park is the 84th one the foundation has supported and helped open so far out of a planed 100, under a grant program called “Dog Park Dash.”

The foundation gave Clinton $25,000 for development of the park here. Randy Boyd owns a pet-supply store chain and products company, but has stepped aside from management of the company while he serves as president of the University of Tennessee.

Work began on the Clinton dog park this past summer. It’s on land along the Clinch River that the city obtained from the Tennessee Valley Authority more than two decades ago.

Clinton City Manager Roger Houck said the grant from the Boyd Foundation was instrumental in getting the park build, and city Parks and Recreation Director Jason Brown said there will be other facilities built on additional property surrounding the fenced-off dog park area.

The dog park has two sections: about three acres for large dogs and two acres for small dogs.

A main road was built leading into the park, and the parking lot has been paved.

Mayor Scott Burton said the city got the 17-acre tract that now includes the dog park in a trade from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

“We’re also planning to put in a nine-hole disc golf course, which will eventually expand to 18 holes, and there will be walking trails throughout the property,” Burton said. “We’ll also look at putting in some pickleball courts.”

There is a Kentucky wood-plank fence around the dog park, which includes a common area at the entrance that gives access to the separate areas for large and small dogs. Just outside the entrance is a water fountain with a dog fountain at its base, and a bright-red fire hydrant that’s just for looks – it’s not connected to a water line.

The dogs who showed up with their owners Friday afternoon went bounding through the open field with what appeared to be pent-up energy, and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying being off their leashes and playing with each other.

Each area has a small shelter with a bench and sheet-metal roof for shade. Brown said some trees will be planted “for natural shade.” He’s also planning to put up some birdhouses.

Part of the park has been used for years by the city as the launch site for fireworks shows on Independence Day and other special times, Brown said.

Eventually, walking trails will go around the entire 17 acres, and will have a connector to the dog park area, Brown said. Part of the trail will follow the riverbank.