Downtown Silver Spring Dog Park To Open June 15
Ellsworth Urban Park site first to be located inside the Beltway
Montgomery County’s first dog park inside the Beltway—and first in an urban area—will open June 15 in downtown Silver Spring.
Montgomery Parks converted a half-acre space in the renovated Ellsworth Urban Park into an enclosed area for owners to take their dogs. The dog park, located between Ellsworth Drive and Colesville Road, becomes the sixth in the county operated by the parks department. The dog park is available for use from sunrise to sunset by residents and their dogs, provided the pets are vaccinated and decently well behaved, according to parks planner Dominic Quattrocchi. No fees or permits are required to use the park.
About an eighth of the dog park is sectioned off for use by canines weighing less than 20 pounds, and the remaining turf is meant for larger dogs. The fenced dog park will be accessible through a double-gated entrance along Colesville Road.
Via Montgomery Parks
While the county has five other dog parks, they are in larger parks, such as Cabin John Regional Park, Wheaton Regional Park and Olney Manor Recreational Park, which are outside the Beltway and typically require dog owners to drive to them. The downtown Silver Spring dog park is the county’s first in an urban area that people can easily access on foot, Quattrocchi said.
It’s the first constructed as part of a plan to add 11 more dog parks in the county by 2022, according to parks officials. The completion of the Ellsworth dog park is in line with an increased focus on the creation of such parks, which Quattrocchi said are the fastest-growing park amenity in the nation. Bethesda is line to be the next urban location to receive a dog park, he said.
The Silver Spring dog park represents the latest step in the revamping of Ellsworth Urban Park, which now features a new playground, in addition to tennis courts. The final cost of the dog park was just over $400,000, according to Montgomery Parks landscape architect Aaron Feldman.
In addition to providing a place for dogs to run, the park is meant to introduce residents to the amenities offered at county parks and increase a sense of community, according to park officials. For example, pet owners who visit the park with their dogs may be inspired to return to use the tennis courts or other recreational areas.
“We like to consider [dogs] four-legged good will ambassadors for the park,” Quattrocchi said. “They’re getting people out to the park and they’re getting people socializing.”