Central Dog Park

There are currently 500 four-legged members in Central Dog Park. Membership is currently full, but interested applicants are welcome to get added to the waitlist. We are currently adding new members to the park from the waitlist.

The dog park features small dog and “other dog” areas, greenspace to play, benches and a shelter, a wooded area, dog waste stations, and a lock and key entry system.


Membership Fee: Membership to the Central Dog Park is $10/month. At time of initial registration, a $45 application fee will be assessed that will cover DNA testing through PooPrints™. The goal of the DNA testing is to eliminate a known problem from occurring so that the dogs, humans, and environment are all protected. Click here to read more on how DNA testing can mitigate un-scooped dog waste and improve cleanliness and sanitation inside the park.

View Bark Park Phases



Q: Who can I contact for additional information?

A: Contact Matt Whirley, Recreation Services Assistant Manager, at mwhirley@carmelclayparks.com.


Q: Did you gather input as far as what should be included in the park?

A: Yes. In 2012, we conducted a feasibility study which contained maintenance standards, rules of use, and user fees. In April of 2015, we met with an Advisory Committee and went through the Operations Plan, which included our findings and recommendations for membership rates, the selection process, features/amenities to include, dog DNA, et cetera.


Q: How large is the dog park and what does it include?

A: Central Dog Park is approximately 3 acres and fully enclosed by a 4-foot high fence.


Q: What are the features and amenities?

A: During the initial phase of the dog park we focused on basic elements needed to operate and keep pet owners comfortable. The plans were kept simple so they would allow for growth based on users’ feedback and wear and tear of the park. A double-gated entrance ensures dogs cannot easily escape as visitors come and go. Designated areas are provided for small and other dogs. Existing trees were preserved and incorporated into one side of the other dog area. A small shelter within the dog park provides a shaded, central gathering place for the two-legged visitors. Drinking fountains for dogs and humans are also available. The dog park is irrigated to help better maintain the grass within the fence.

Other amenities within the Central Park North Campus include a new open meadow, picnic shelter, and restroom facilities all conveniently located by the dog park.  The Monon Greenway, Interurban Trail, and all of the trails within Central Park are easily accessible via short trails connecting into the existing 116th Street perimeter trail.

It is our plan to regularly survey our members to receive feedback regarding operations, as well as amenities offered. Potential amenities for future phases could include shade structure benches or a dog wash station. Ultimately, it is for our members to decide what they would like to see in years to come.


Q: How many dogs can I have as members?

A: There is a limit of 3 dogs per household. Each dog will need to be listed on the registration form.


Q: Can anyone enter the dog park at any time?

A: No. The dog park has a lock and key entry system, which means each member will be assigned a key fob that will grant them access through the gates. Gates will be locked down during maintenance and company event times.


Q: What are the rules and regulations?

A: Rules and regulations of the Central Dog Park can be found online by clicking here. Please note that these are for the dog park specifically. All other park rules apply and can be found online by clicking here.


Q: Why did you decide to do DNA testing for the dogs?

A: As a department we want to make sure we provide the cleanest parks, greenways, and facilities we can for the community. Dog feces is extremely harmful to the environment, and according to a NY Times post, 40% of Americans do not pick up after their dogs, and of those individuals 44% indicated they would not pick up even if asked. Dog feces carries dangerous pathogens. With the Central Bark Park lying in a watershed, these pathogens would pollute our freshwater supply. Did you know dog waste is the No. 3 cause of water pollution? The goal of the DNA testing is to eliminate a known problem from occurring so that the dogs, humans, and environment are all protected. Click here to read more on how DNA testing can mitigate un-scooped dog waste and improve cleanliness and sanitation inside the park.


Q: Why are there set hours and time changes based on seasons?

A: We wanted to maximize the amount of time the park would be open during all seasons taking into account daylight savings time. This allows our users optimal sunlight to use the park before and after work and on weekends. In order to properly maintain the space, we have set aside designated hours for our maintenance team to clean up and evaluate the park’s use. Click here for hours of operation and rules.


Q: How can I stay connected with your other happenings around Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation?

A: Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube


Q: Are you accepting sponsorships?

A: Yes. Interested parties can reach out to Lindsay Labas, Marketing Director for information.


Central Bark Park
1427 E. 116th Street
Matt Whirley, Recreation Services Assistant Manager


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Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation | Carmel, IN

Monon Community Center
1235 Central Park Drive East
Carmel, IN 46032

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