By Chris Wright, The News On 6
TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- After waiting years to bring a dog park to south Tulsa, dog lovers are upset that the one there will be closed for the better part of a year.
Biscuit Acres at Hunter Park has been closed since June and will not reopen until next May.
An ideal fall day brought man's best friend out to the Joe Station Bark Park west of downtown.
"This is her heaven," said Mandi Stillwell. "She comes and runs for hours, runs and runs and runs. She loves it."
But the regulars say the crowd rarely rivals the number that used to gather in Biscuit Acres. Paid for entirely by donations and located in Hunter Park, it opened in June of 2009.
"We just kind of liked going out to that one in south Tulsa because there's so much to do out there. This part of town's a little bit different than that part of town, different culture," said Aaron Jordan.
By June 2010 the park was shut down. The Parks Department says Biscuit Acres became a victim of its own success. Hundreds of dogs continually running in circles eventually killed most of the grass.
"If everyone hated it, it would flourish. But unfortunately, everyone loves it so the traffic's been pretty brutal out there," said Bob Hendrick, Tulsa Parks Department.
Three months after it was closed, Biscuit Acres looks like a pristine puppy paradise. But four-legged friends won't be allowed back inside until next May.
"We've tried re-seeding it, tried re-sodding it," Hendrick said. "The only way for that grass to actually anchor and stay is we've just got to keep it closed until winter is over and spring comes back."
Until then, dog lovers will have to live with only one park. It's a minor inconvenience that seems to bother owners more than their dogs.
Joe Station was Tulsa's first off leash park. It's a converted baseball field, and the Parks Department says the sod has done a much better job of handling all these dogs.