Oak Mountain State Park announced the demonstration farm will be closed and repurposed into a dog park and event space, according to Outdoor Alabama. The last day the farm will be open to guests is Sunday, April 30th.
Preparing to close the farm
Oak Mountain’s demonstration farm has been a staple at the park for many years. However, as the animals get older, the park has decided that it’s time to find retirement homes for the farm’s residents.
“We understand that the demo farm has been a treasured part of Oak Mountain State Park for a long time. This decision was not taken lightly, but we want to do what is best for the aging animals by making sure we find them happy retirement homes. We’ve always kept the well-being of the animals as a top priority, and that’s why we’ve been careful about who we allowed to adopt these animals.”Scottie Jackson, Central District Superintendent for Alabama State Parks
Homes for many of the most popular animals have already been secured– such as the famous Taylor the donkey and Princess the mini-horse who now live together on a staff member’s farm. The farm will remain open through April 30 as park officials continue to find forever homes for the remaining animals.
“We also realize that closing the farm will be disappointing to many of our longtime visitors, but we must do what’s best for the animals and for the long-term future of Oak Mountain State Park. That’s why we’re also excited about creating a new amenity at the park for our visitors to enjoy.”Scottie Jackson, Central District Superintendent for Alabama State Parks
New additions coming soon
In the coming months, the farm’s iconic red barn will be renovated and become a rental venue for parties, weddings and other events.
The area around the barn formerly used by the demonstration farm will be revamped into a dog park, separated from the barn by fencing. As the park has reported an increasing number of visitors with dogs, the new addition will give dog-owners a free, safe and fun place to let their furry friends play.
“We understand change isn’t always easy. We believe this is in the best interest of the animals and for the future of Oak Mountain State Park. We hope everyone will embrace these new amenities as we continue to improve all of our state parks.”Greg Lein, State Parks Director
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