“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.

Other pet-friendly parks and events

• Piedmont Bark’s “Yappy Hour,” a social hour for canines and their owners held throughout the year. www.piedmontbark.com/yappy_hour.htm

• Atlanta Dog Park at Grant Park
Berne Street and Boulevard Atlanta, GA, 30315

• Waggy World Paw Park at Wills Park
175 Roswell Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009

• Mason Mill Dog Park
1400 McConnell Drive, Decatur, GA, 30033

• Brook Run Park
4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338, www.dunwoodynorth.org/brookrun

• Oakhurst Dog Park
450 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA, 30030

• Glenlake Dog Park
1121 Church St., Decatur, GA, 30030

• Adair Dog Park
716 W. Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030

• Red Dog Park
Third and Pool Street, Stone Mountain, GA, 30083

• Burger Dog Park
680 Glendale Place, Smyrna, GA 30080

• Sweat Mountain Park
4346 Steinhauer Road, Marietta, GA 30066


Top photo: The newly renovated Piedmont Park Dog Park reopens with a ceremony on Aug. 12. (Courtesy Piedmont Park Conservancy)

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