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50 at 50 - June 30

Posted By MICHELLE WELLS, NC RECREATION & PARK ASSN, Friday, June 30, 2017
Updated: Thursday, June 29, 2017
Parks are for people with all interests and our profession has embraced the idea of specialty parks. Sometimes those interests involve our four-legged friends too! This week, I found my way to Piney Wood Park in Durham - home to the first dog park in Durham. So when was the first dog park opened in the US? According to my Google search, it was 1979 in Berkeley, California.

Piney Wood Park is a 39.4-acre park located at 400 E. Woodcroft Parkway. It has several fields, picnic shelters, a playground and the dog park. While I haven’t been to many dog parks, this one seemed much larger than others I’ve seen. It has 4 separate enclosed areas - a small dog area, large dog area, program area and entrance area. Like most dog parks it had water fountains, waste bag dispensers, and benches. The program area is open to all but also can be used for special playgroups or an organized activity. Is the park open to all dogs - yes, but they must be registered with Durham Parks & Recreation annually. Dog Park registration fees are $17 annually, require proof of the proper vaccinations, and a signed liability waiver. So far in 2017, 470 families with 536 dogs have signed up for the fun.

What I observed that I didn’t expect was people ‘playing’ in the dog park too. I chatted with two gentlemen, Ben & Jared, who frequent the dog park almost every day. They were tossing a frisbee back and forth. Sometimes their dogs would chase after the frisbee and sometimes the dogs were too busy having their own fun. Ben and his dog Toast were nice enough to pose for a photo between throws.

As I was leaving the park, I met Tucker. He was chasing a well-loved flying disc. I asked him what he liked about the Piney Wood Dog Park and he replied, “Grrrr, bark, woof!”. I thought that was a great endorsement!

For more information on Piney Wood Park in Durham visit and the Piney Wood Dog Park visit

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Tags:  50at50  Durham  NCRecre8  parks  recreation 

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