Dog Park – How To start
A dog park is a public park, typically fenced, where people and their dogs can play together. Similarly, a dog run is a smaller fenced area, created for the same use, that is often located within an existing park. As the names imply, these places offer dogs off-leash play areas where their owners can enjoy a park-like setting and the chance to socialize with other canines and their owners. Dog parks, which are sometimes managed by park users in conjunction with city or town officials, are being established all over the country and offer a wealth of benefits to dogs, dog owners and the community as a whole.
Create a proposal.
Get to know local officials – your city council members and the director of your department of parks and recreation.
When you’re ready, request a hearing with city government to discuss your proposal. Have two or three carefully selected, knowledgeable and articulate members of your group present your plan, clearly expressing its many benefits to the community and calmly addressing any concerns.
Be patient and flexible. Dealing with city government is rarely a quick process, but don’t give up! Follow through with continued letters and e-mails, and be willing to work toward compromise.
One acre or more of land surrounded by a four- to six-foot high chain-link fence. Preferably, the fence should be equipped with a double-gated entry to keep dogs from escaping and to facilitate wheelchair access.
- Cleaning supplies, including covered garbage cans, waste bags, and pooperscooper stations.
- Shade and water for both dogs and owners, along with benches and tables.
- A safe, accessible location with adequate drainage and a grassy area that is mowed routinely.
- If space allows, it is preferable to provide separate areas for small and large dogs. This will enable large dog owners to allow their pets to run more freely, while protecting smaller dogs who may not be suited to the enthusiastic play of larger breeds.
- Signs that specify park hours and rules.
- Parking close to the site.