New parks opening soon in Springfield

The National Trail Parks and Recreation District will open two new locations in the next two weeks, including a dog park and children’s nature park.

The Central Bark dog park at Snyder Park will open at 2 p.m. May 30. The Buck Creek Nature Park, located behind Carleton Davidson Stadium on Mitchell Boulevard will open on June 5 with a ribbon cutting at noon.

Springfield veterinarian Dr. Dana King and his wife, Judy, donated about $30,000 to build the new dog park near the former Snyder Park Golf Course. National Trail opened its first dog park, Wiggley Field, in Old Reid Park in 2005.

“Almost daily people comment on how much they love (Wiggley Field),” said King, who owns Northside Veterinary Clinic, 10 Critter Court Road. “People from the other side of town always say they wish they had one closer.”

As the golf course closed early last year, King said the area seemed like a perfect fit for a second dog park location.

King grew up in Clark Count and has practiced as a veterinarian for 38 years, including 20 as the vet for the Clark County Fair. He wanted to show his support to the community for all it’s done for his family over the years.

“Clark County has been really good to me,” King said. “I love my clients, my practice and the people who bring their dogs here.”

The dog park is the newest addition at the former golf course, which includes the $300,000 accessible playground built by the Springfield Rotary Club last year near the tennis courts. The Master Gardeners and Ohio State University Extension Office began moving their gardens to a five-acre section of the 85-acre golf course area earlier this year.

A $350,000 water playground is also expected to open in July.

“The whole area of Snyder Park is transforming and always we’re seeing new things there,” said Leann Castillo, director of National Trail.

The Buck Creek Nature Park was constructed using a $16,000 grant from the Springfield Conservancy District. National Trail maintains the Buck Creek Corridor for the conservancy district.

The park district staff members will be at the nature park from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. June 6 to demonstrate some of the activities available there.

“It’s a place for kids to get back into nature and play,” Castillo said. “It’s interactive so families can do it together.”

The nature park will include a natural playground, an adventure literacy trail, a picnic area and native meadow, prairie and wildflower plantings. The park will also be connected to the Lagonda softball fields through a wildflower walking trail along the levee, as well as paths from the nearby bike trails and a path to the existing whitewater feature.

It will also include nature trails throughout the tree lines surrounding the baseball stadium. The trails will circle around both sides of the stadium and meet behind the levee at the Nature Park along Buck Creek. Other amenities include an outdoor amphitheater, which includes stone slabs from the former Memorial Hall for seating, and an example of beaver den habitat constructed near the creek.

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