County Outlines Plan To Double Number of Dog Parks

County Outlines Plan To Double Number of Dog Parks

New spaces considered in Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Silver Spring

| Published:
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Dogs play at a dog park in Gaithersburg.

Caitlynn Peetz

County planners have identified 13 sites for future dog parks.

There are 10 dog parks in Montgomery County, according to Planning Board documents, and the county’s goal is to add 15 more within the next decade. Four of the existing parks are municipal facilities and six are at county parks.

The American Veterinarian Medical Association estimates about 40% of all U.S. households have at least one dog, and scholars say dog parks serve as gathering spaces that create a “sense of community.”

“We need more of these facilities to keep up with high demand – particularly in higher-density areas where residents in townhouses or multi-family housing are less likely to have a yard,” Parks Department staff wrote in a report to the Planning Board.

For three months, the Planning Department solicited feedback from community members about where they would like to see dog parks. After receiving that feedback, county planners narrowed recommendations by determining which suggestions align with county methodology that says areas with more people should have more facilities.

Recommended sites are: North Chevy Chase Local Park, Elm Street Urban Park, Norwood Local Park, Willard Avenue Local Park, Wall Local Park, Jesup-Blair Local Park, South Four Corners Neighborhood Park, Layhill Village Local Park, Washington Square Local Park, Ovid Hazen Well Recreational Park, Calverton-Galway Local Park, South Four Corners Neighborhood Park and South Germantown Recreational Park. Two of the parks would serve multiple geographic zones outlined by the county.

The Planning Board will consider the recommendations at a meeting this week.

The Parks Department will implement new dog parks as part of other capital projects, so a cost estimate was not incorporated, according to the report. The report will also be used to craft temporary, pop-up dog park events.

“Sites identified in this study do not guarantee the construction of a future dog park facility, nor limit the possibility of a dog park facility at other parks in the County,” according to the report.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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