The former Dog Park opened to the public back in 2002, but closed when the Piedmont Park Conservancy decided to upgrade it. According to Yvette Bowden, president and CEO of the Piedmont Park Conservancy, there has been much discussion since that time on how to expand the Dog Park location and make it as enjoyable as possible to everyone.
Bowden acknowledges that the Dog Park has long been one of the most frequented areas of Piedmont Park and that she, like many others, is looking forward to the opening.
“We are excited, and excited that others are excited about the opening,” she says.
The new park will have many new features. Some of the amenities include a dog run — nearly three acres in space — and separate enclosures for large and small dogs (described as less than 30 pounds). The small park will be four times the size of the previous one.
The new Dog Park will also have new trails and landscaping along with seats and restrooms for owners, and perks that visitors have enjoyed before such as water fountains, rocks for climbing purposes, and free dog waste bags for owners.
Guests at the opening ceremony will receive a special doggy bag. Other available goodies (for an increased registration fee) include a personalized caricature souvenir and a special commemorative dog bone plaque, inscribed with the name of your faithful companion.
One of the trademarks of the Dog Park has been its reputation as an off-leash site. A City of Atlanta ordinance proclaims that all dogs must be leashed, but the Dog Park is one of the few metro area locations where that rule is relaxed and dogs can run free with supervised care.
The Conservancy estimates 600,000 Dog Park visitors a year, although Bowden feels that is probably a conservative number.
She says that the majority of pets in the park are – as expected – dogs, although over the years she has been surprised at what she has seen.
“One guy brings his pig out for a walk,” she laughs. “I’ve also seen cats on a leash.”
Some people even borrow other people’s dogs and bring them to the park.
“It’s a place people truly enjoy,” she says. “So many communities consider it their park.”
But remember, pets are not allowed in Piedmont Park during major festivals. Although Bowden would love to be able to find a way to work around that, dogs will not be allowed in the park for the upcoming Atlanta Pride in October.
Top photo: The newly renovated Piedmont Park Dog Park reopens with a ceremony on Aug. 12. (Courtesy Piedmont Park Conservancy)