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Dog parks

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#1
A few citizens have mentioned an interest in creating a dog park. I like the idea and think it would be a benefit to the City. Obviously there are pros and cons to the idea but would like to find out more information on it.

1. Any one have experience creating a dog park?
2. Who owns your local dog park? City? County? Private?
3. Who maintains the facility?


Any information you'd like to share would be welcome!
 

craines

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#2
The city of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks owns it's dog parks, maintains them and designs them. The biggest issue we have is the life of the turf areas and over use. We have a couple of canyon based dog parks where the use is so heavy that the plant material that was serving as a erosion control blanket has be killed from dogs trapsing through.
 

Richi

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#3
I haven't been involved in creating a dog park, but have seen one in Tallahassee. It is in a major regional park and is maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department.

It is fenced and has a source of water within the fence. Located near a parking area and public restrooms.

I do not know the size but would guess about 50' x 80'. I would think that ideal size would be dictated by expected usage, but you might have to do with availabe land.

I would ask that the dog lovers who have mentioned the park be asked to serve on a committee to help design or at least determine the parameters of the facility they would like. They are the experts.

Location will play a big role in the success, I think. If the park is within walking distance of a substantial amount of high density residential it will allow the residents to walk the dog to the DP so that they can run there. If all SF detached with large lots, the dogs may already have the run of a large back yard. Some will drive the dog to the park so that Fido can play with others, but there is another auto trip we are promoting.
 
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#4
I haven't been involved in the creation of a dog park, but my wife and I (and our two pups) have used quite a few of them. Some of the aspects that we find to be nice and/or neccesary include:

  • Separate areas for big dogs and small dogs (over or under 30 lbs)
  • Water for drinking (dogs and people) and a water hose for washing off muddy dogs
  • SHADE - leave a few trees in there. The dogs like them and the shade is great. We've been to too many dog parks where it was a cleared piece of land right next to a wooded area.
  • Seating...benches work, but boulders are nicer and give a sense of the place being in a more natural state.

I'd agree that the biggest issue will be keeping the turf growing. This won't be a problem on the small dog side but on the big dog side it will be. That side should be bigger to give more room so that each square foot of grass doesn't get as stressed. One city I've been to fenced off parts of the big dog side intermittantly to allow the turf to recuperate...kinda like a crop rotation.

Hope this helps!
 
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#6
Most of the dog parks I have seen are owned by the city or county government. Most often, they are also the ones who maintain it. Like Chet said, there are some that are supported by local dog groups.

I have been involved in designing one dog park. I would recommend everything the others have suggested: water for people and dogs (some fountain comapnies make a bubbler with dog dishes), restrooms, seating (my design used the boulder approach). I liked the large and small dog area idea, and think the hose for dog washing is another great idea. We have not had trouble with turf, but then, grass grows well in the Great Lakes area. Definitely add trees, but avoid brush. Dogs love it but getting burrs out of a dog's fur is no fun. Make the area big so that the dogs can get a good long run to chase a ball or frisbee. Try to avoid putting the park near significant wildlife habitat.
 

Jeff

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#7
These are great, and are popping up in alot of areas around Philadelphia. Not located in "prime" parkland, but land that would otherwise go unused, oddly shaped outparcels, lands within the i-95 right of way, etc.

The city owns them, built them, and from what I see....these are maintained by "friends of the dog park" groups.
 
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#8
After doing some research i think what we have in mind would be more of an Urban Dog Run. We don't have vast tracts of open space in the city, but we do have some vacant urban lots. I'd rather see some kind of community/open space inhabit the lots rather than another parking lot.

What about liabilty for the park?

Cardinal, do you recall how much the construction costs were for the park you designed?
 

The One

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#10
Yup.....

The City I used to work with had a nice dog park planned that would be operated by the City Parks Department with volunteer help.

Why can't we have a cat park? It would be full of climbing obstacles and loaded with catnip toys with stands for owners to watch them freak out:D
 
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#12

Rem

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#13
We have a number in our City. The local Council owns or controls the sites and developed them (though they all still have a way to go before they are fully provided with their intended amenities).

It is a goal to provide a number of different exercise and play environments for the dogs and their owners, hence we have lake, ocean, bushland and open park sites.

I saw a really well used, though pretty basic, facility in San Francisco a couple of years ago. It was within Golden Gate Park.

You can see some info. about the sites here; http://www.lakemac.com.au/page.aspx?pid=433&vid=11
 

jmello

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#14
Our dog park was funded by a local non-profit organization and was constructed on an unused area within a city park. Much of the long leaf pine tree cover was left intact.

The organization maintains the park. It consists of a small dog and large dog section, which are connected by an entrance vestibule. The vestibule has a hose. Each area has a picnic table, a couple of benches and a wooden platform with some water bowls and a spigot. There is no grass in either area. However, since our soil is more like sand, it is not really an issue.
 
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