Disaster averted at flooded bark park

HARLINGEN —Flooding issues from the errant placement of a sprinkler head have been resolved at the Harlingen Rotary Bark Park with no loss of human or canine life.

The popular dog-friendly zone at Victor Park, which opened in 2014, was troubled recently by a paw-splashing muddy mess at the entrance, city Parks and Recreation Department officials say.

“What was going on is we had a sprinkler head right at that entrance,” Armando Villela, the city’s parks superintendent. “We had just treated for ticks and fleas and all those insects that obviously are not good for the dogs, so we did a treatment, and that treatment, it’s a granular, so we have to water pretty heavily after the granular goes down just to make it work.”

Villela, speaking following the parks and rec board meeting last week, said dog owners were quick to contact his department about the boggy condition at the bark park’s entrance.

“We realized that the amount of time the sprinklers were running was too much for that area,” Villela said. “Really, there is no need for a sprinkler head there in that area, so what we did is dug it up, we capped it and removed it, and brought in some dirt.

“We raised the elevation, made the walkway out of decomposed granite and we also went ahead and laid out some decomposed granite where most of those benches are, where people will go and watch their dogs play,” he added.

The attractive reddish-brown decomposed granite is similar to what parks department crews have been deploying on the islands at the Harlingen Soccer Complex, spreading it out and then compacting it so it stays in place.

Villela said there were no reports of canines washed away in the bark park deluge, not even any Chihuahuas or Yorkies.

“No. All dogs have been fine,” Villela said. “I think we may have lost a shoe or two when it got a little muddy here and there, but everything was fine.”