Enter your canine to become the Gateway Arch National Park’s top dog – honest, this is real

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The Jewish Light’s furry friend, Gelt the Golden.

It was just a matter of time: Gateway Arch National Park is going to the dogs as the dog days of summer draw near.

Although the downtown St. Louis 91-acre urban national park surrounding the Arch has long been dog-friendly, the Gateway Arch Park Foundation and Purina announced a new partnership today (May 26) to bring fun opportunities and programs to the Arch grounds to benefit our furry, four-legged friends.

“For the past year we’ve watched St. Louisans find respite from the pandemic by visiting Gateway Arch National Park, many of them with their pets,” Ryan McClure, executive director of Gateway Arch Park Foundation said in a statement. “Residents of downtown St. Louis already know this is a great park to spend time with your dog, and we hope through this partnership with Purina we can encourage St. Louis’s dog-loving community to experience the Arch in a brand-new way.”

Added Kim Beardslee, with Purina Community Affairs: “We hope this partnership encourages visitors to enjoy some time with their dogs in the shadow of the incredible landmark and the beautiful surrounding grounds.”

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The Search for Gateway Arch National Park’s Top Dog

The partnership is kicking off today by launching the search for Gateway Arch National Park’s Official B.A.R.K. Ranger.

How it Works: Gateway Arch Park Foundation is hosting a dog photo contest at www.archpark.org/bark. Owners are invited to submit their favorite photo of their pup at the Arch grounds along with a brief description of what makes their dog iconic. Five furry finalists will be chosen, and the public will vote to choose the Gateway Arch National Park Official B.A.R.K. Ranger. The lucky dog will hold their title for one year and receive a prize pack filled with Arch and Purina-themed goodies.

The 2021 Official B.A.R.K. Ranger will be invited to preside at B.A.R.K. Ranger events throughout the year at Arch grounds. The winner will be chosen by public vote and announced June 25.

What is a B.A.R.K. Ranger? The National Park Service’s B.A.R.K. Ranger program invites family pets to serve as ambassadors for responsible and safe pet handling at Gateway Arch National Park and other national parks across the country.