Why dog parks?
It's estimated that more than 150,000 dogs are living in Denver.
Currently, there are 12 designated off-leash dog parks within city limits. Much like Denver’s human population growth, it’s expected that the number of dogs will continue to increase. To help alleviate the various issues that arise from an increasing dog population in a growing city, many municipalities are looking towards dog parks.
Dog parks have been shown to produce multiple community benefits for dogs, dog owners, and non-dog owners alike. A few of the proven benefits of dog parks include:
- Fewer off-leash dogs in on-leash parks, therefore decreasing citations issued and costs associated with patrols and enforcement
- Improved safety and comfort of non-dog owners through fewer interactions with illegally off-leash dogs
- Improved safety of dogs and dog-owners by separating them from cars, bicycles, skateboards, etc.
- Increased socialization of dogs in the community, which can help develop calmer, less aggressive dogs outside of dog parks
In Denver, the continued creation of dog parks is being explored to help keep all residents and pets they might have safe and comfortable.
What is a “technical update?”
The term “technical update” is used to describe the re-examination of an existing plan. After almost 10 years of use and changing city demographics, the 2010 Dog Park Master Plan is outdated.
The Dog Park Master Plan Technical Update revises the 2010 Dog Park Master Plan to reflect Denver’s current context related to dogs, dog-owners, non-dog owners, and parks.
What does the 2010 Dog Park Master Plan Technical Update accomplish?
The four goals of the Technical Update are to:
- Outline the current local and national context for dog parks
- Establish a community-driven approach to dog park site selection
- Propose new design guidelines that will inform future dog park design
- Review and evaluate current maintenance practices
- Recommend policies to help the city develop a foundation for well-planned, sustainable dog parks
What is the community-driven process for the creation of new dog parks?
Limited capacity and resources make it difficult for DPR to keep up with the growing demand for new dog parks. To help keep up with resident intererst in dog parks, a pilot community-driven proposal process has been developed as part of the Technical Update.
Through this process, neighbors can identify and suggest new sites for dog parks, lead the community outreach process, and take ownership of the maintenance and fundraising necessary to create new dog facilities.
Though DPR will still maintain responsibility for design, construction and basic maintenance of all dog parks, this new process allows those who have the highest need for off-leash facilities to assume a large role in dog park stewardship.
In its first year, this process will be tested as a pilot program. The process is outlined in Section III of the Appendix in the Technical Update. (after page 71)
March 2020 Update: Due to overwhelming response, new proposals are not currently being accepted. New proposals are anticipated to be accepted beginning in 2021.