On July 18, 2017, Barksdale Air Force Base broke ground on a new dog park and water park for servicemembers, their families and guests to come enjoy. The project was finished on Feb. 2, but officially opened to all Department of Defense identification cardholders and their guests on May 7.
Located on Billy Mitchell Road, the park is right beside the youth center on base. Jeremy Huggins, 2d Lt. USAF Public Affairs Officer, explains how they were able to fund the project.
“We were able to build these facilities because Barksdale was awarded the Commander-in-Chief Installation Excellence Award,” 2d Lt. Huggins said. “This award included funding for these type of projects as a way to give back to our Airmen and add to the available quality of life amenities on base.”
The splash park and dog park are open to anyone with base access and their guests. However, some breeds of dog are not allowed, so dog park visitors should view the rules posted at the entrance. 2d Lt. Huggins says they are excited to be able to provide a space for people to enjoy.
“We are excited to be able to provide these areas and encourage all Team Barksdale members, their families and guests to come enjoy them.”
He also hopes the facilities will be a place where Airmen can make lasting memories.
“We hope that these parks will provide opportunities for residents to make lasting family memories and will positively influence Airmen morale and readiness. We expect that these facilities will be put to good use by our residents for years to come.”
Barksdale personnel and their families have used the parks every day since they’ve opened. Huggins hopes that as the summer progresses, and with kids now out of school, they will continue to do so.
“Our leadership emphasizes how important our people are to our mission. We must ensure they are ready and able to complete it all times. While this entails a large amount of training and hard work, it also means downtime and recreation are highly important. We want to make sure our people are well rested and that their families are cared for. Doing this, allows them to better focus on completing the mission while they are at work. These parks, along with other base quality of life amenities, support this and therefore play a role in the completion of our mission.”
Outdoor recreational activities are a great way for Airmen to spend time outdoors with their families and also their furry friends. The dog park is 24,000 square feet with lots of space for dogs to roam around.
Huggins gives credit to their community partnerships for making the vision for this project a reality.
“Our community partnerships in the Shreveport-Bossier area are a major reason why Barksdale Air Force Base received the Commander-in-Chief Installation Excellence Award so we thank all of them for their support.”
Photos courtesy of Barksdale Air Force Base