Dog parks popular in most areas |

Dog parks popular in most areas

Jack Carrerow

INCLINE VILLAGE – With the recent controversy surrounding the establishment of a dedicated dog park here, a study of various Web sites shows this type of facility is becoming more and more popular across the country.

In big cities and small islands alike, there are dog parks in just about every community with every type of environment – from waterfalls to obstacle courses, from a third of an acre to 800,000 acres. While some are county owned, others are operated through private donations from the dog owners themselves.

Around the Tahoe Lake Basin, none could be found, but the Eldorado National Forest lays claim to the largest area, offering leash-free facilities on all of its nearly 1 million acres with restrictions only on the Wilderness Trail.

On the city front, San Francisco, a 49-square-mile city where land is at a premium, there are no less than 20 separate dog parks, but since none of them are fenced, dog walkers are required to have their dogs voice-control trained.

Boston, likewise, offers one dog park in the middle of the metropolitan area, which features trees and picnic tables, as does Cambridge, with its off-leash path that surrounds Fresh Pond Reservoir.

This site also touts that there are many other dogs to interact with and there are a few ponds for those interested in a doggie paddle.

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In Cincinnati, the Mt. Airy Dog Park offers a two-acre, fenced-in area where dogs can run free.

There is a double-gated entrance for dog safety.

Thanks to overwhelming support from area dog owners and a $7,500 grant from PETsMART Charities, Cincinnati Parks has developed approximately two acres in Mt. Airy Forest into a park for dogs.

The area is fenced and usage rules are posted on-site.

Dogs may run leash-free in this dog park when accompanied by a guardian.

Visitors to the facility are encouraged to bring degradable bags to use for waste disposal.

In Southern California, the Dog Zone in Long Beach is a three-acre dog beach where dogs are allowed to frolic off-leash in the surf and sand in a designated area in Belmont Shore.

Since Incline Village is unique, finding something comparable is difficult, but one facility in Breckenridge, Colo., is the only official dog-friendly park in the ski resort town, advertising free baggies for poop and bragging that it is a great place to socialize your pet and meet locals.

In Placer County, the town of Lincoln offers a fenced dog park with parking, potable water, trash container and waste bags, and will soon have a separate area for dogs less than 25 pounds. Stanislaus County offers over a million acres of National Forest for Fido’s pleasure without furnishing poop bags.