The Dog Park - "Dogs in the Hood"
This dog park is one of four off leash parks in the city of Kingston On and is located next to a public library and adjacent to the Cataraqui River in east Kingston. The dog park is accessed by a paved walkway making it accessible to people with handicaps. A fence surrounds it, and dogs and their masters enter through a set of gates. Bench seating is provided for the people while water, "poop bags," and waste bins are provided for the dogs. Once inside the park, dogs can run and play in open space with other dogs or walk the sawdust trail with their people friends.
The dog park provides a community setting where people, from all walks in life, can gather and socialize while watching their dogs engage in play. Studies have shown that people find it easier to talk with each other with dogs as the initial focus, breaking down the barriers that make people perceive others as strangers. This park offers elderly and disabled people a place to exercise their companion while interacting with others.
Dogs of all breeds romp in the park every day of the year while their owners drink coffee, chat and on warm days, read books from the library. The park is a safe place for dogs and owners to exercise and socialize, and it promotes responsible dog ownership. Bringing dogs and their owners together in the neutral setting on the banks of the river can reduce fear and aggression in the dogs.
The City of Kingston, in concert with public focus groups, have developed Kingston's dog parks and created policies that address the amenities to be included in the dog park as well as rules and other regulations. The City maintains the dog parks with funds generated through the sale of dog tags.
The dog park provides a regular informal gathering place, where people come together all year round to enjoy the paths, their pets, and other dog owners and their pets. This is important in all urban areas in our vast country, but more so in Kingston where many residents (particularly on the east side) are military families who are often on the move.
The City of Kingston worked with focus groups and city planners to design our dog parks. The parks exceed the minimum requirements of most dog parks. The city conducts regular maintenance of the parks and the dog owners take pride in the parks and can be found raking the sawdust trails as well as "poop and scooping."