Oak Mountain closing Demo Farm to open dog park, event space

Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 12:59 AM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A treasured part of Oak Mountain State Park is closing and being turned into a dog park and event space.

David Johnson, the Assistant Superintendent with Oak Mountain, says there is no clear timeline on when the dog park and event space will open, but the last day for Demo Farms is April 30.

“We are just constantly looking and assessing the needs of our guests and the needs of those animals,” Johnson said. “The needs of those animals was the most important factor in that decision.”

Since the announcement of the farm closing, many long-time visitors have expressed their disappointment.

“The animal population there is starting to get older, and we decided to make the decision to close it,” Johnson said.

Most of the animals at the farm have already been rehomed, and those that are left all have a home to go to.

“All the new owners have been vetted and we have checked out that they all are all well versed in animal care for the particular animal they are getting,” Johnson said.

And good news - they aren’t going alone.

“All of our animals are going in pairs, so they are taking a buddy with them to their new forever home,” Johnson said.

The red barn will remain but will be renovated to become a rental venue for parties and other events with a fence separating it from a dog park.

“We are hoping to do more with that space as far as weddings,” Johnson said. “The dog park was just a need from our guests who currently bring their dogs in have requested a place [where] their dog can run and be off leash, so we are trying to accommodate them too.”

The dog park will include a small retail area for toys and other items and will be free to use after visitors pay the park entrance fee.

The Demo Farm closure will not affect the guided horseback riding and boarding stable operations. That facility will remain open.

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