GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man walking his dog was shocked Wednesday when the dog ran into a makeshift barbed wire fence while the two explored trails just north of Richmond Park in Grand Rapids.
“My dog just ran through a barbed wire fence that someone set up across the creek,” Nick Surman said.
His dog Nina sustained minor puncture wounds on her neck.
It is unclear who put up the barbed wire or when.
The area where Surman and many others walk daily is not part of Richmond Park. Railroad companies and Consumers Energy own parcels just north of the park, off an access road where many families walk.
Cody Levon, another walker, said many mistake the road and trails as a continuation of the park.
“It’s not explicitly stated that this isn’t part of the park,” he said. “I think most people assumed it was for being so connect to it.”
There are no visible private property signs or signs that denote the end of the park’s boundaries off of the north parking lot. Grand Rapids spokesman David Green said the park’s boundaries extend to the tree line on the north end of the park.
“So if you walk out of Richmond Park and come to a dirt road, you have gone too far,” he said.
Still, the city of Grand Rapids has an ordinance that states no barbed wire is permitted upon any residential property nor at any location in the city. The exception is for barbed wire surrounding nonresidential properties if it’s at least 6 feet off the ground.
Upon News 8’s investigation of the trails Thursday, the barbed wire was cut but the remnants show it was wrapped around a tree at about 2 feet above the ground, as well as 6 feet. The city has not assessed the location in question.
Some have called for the city to put up signs at the park’s north parking lot to indicate walkers may be entering private property and warn of potential trespassing.