Next up in our Dog Park Tour series – the Lakewood Dog Park! This post was submitted by Karen Karp, President of Friends of Lakewood Dog Park, the group that keeps the park running smoothly (and clean!).
Where: The park is located on Valley Parkway, just south of the Emerald Necklace Marina in the Rocky River Reservation of the Cleveland MetroParks.
The details: The fenced-in park is approximately two thirds of an acre including a separate small dog area. The park is not self-cleaning. The volunteers perform this task, as well as providing poop bags, scoop-up tools, bowls, toys, and all other amenities. This past spring, FLDP purchased 5 additional benches, bringing the total to fifteen. The drinking fountain in the park has a spigot at human height and another closer to the ground for filling water bowls. The City of Lakewood turns off the fountain once the weather starts to get cold and turns it back on again in the spring. There are numerous bowls throughout the park.
There are always tennis balls for playing fetch. FLDP puts out Frisbees and tug toys which are routinely destroyed due to vigorous play. FLDP provides bio-degradable poop bags and trash can liners and scoopers which we encourage people to use in an effort to keep the park clean.
The park has two shelters where humans can huddle in case of rain. No agility equipment, but we do have 15 benches which the dogs jump on and dive under.
In 2014 the dog park received the Best Dog Park/Play Area award from Yelp. This year the park was chosen Best Dog Park by Scene Magazine.
The Busy Times: The park is open every day from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM. The park is almost always in use regardless of the season or time of day. During the week there is less activity in the morning and early afternoon. More people and dogs begin to arrive around 5:00 PM and the park stays busy until closing time at 9:00 PM.
On weekends the park is busy from open to close. If bringing a pooch for a first time visit to a dog park, I’d suggest avoiding Saturday and Sunday until the dog has acclimated and feels comfortable. As I suspect is the case at every dog park, our park goers are congenial and try to be helpful when they spot a newbie.
The Crowd: Usually, there is a mix of big and small dogs. No one size predominates. There is a small dog area, but it is not used frequently. When playing, the small dogs tend to gravitate to other small dogs and the same is true for the larger dogs.
About Friends of the Lakewood Dog Park
Friends of the Lakewood Dog Park (FLDP) is a group of volunteers that keep the park running from day to day. The City of Lakewood does not clean the park!
We hold several fundraising events every year. The annual dog swim is the most highly anticipated event for most park goers. It is always the day after Labor Day at Foster Pool, in Lakewood Park. This year more than 250 dogs and their humans attended. Every spring we host pictures with the Easter Bunny and pictures with Santa Paws during the holidays. Santa Paws is expected to make an appearance on December 6, 2015 at Pet’s General Store, 16821 Madison Avenue, in Lakewood.
Other upcoming events:
Planning a visit to the park? Check out The Dog Friendly Neighborhood Guide for Lakewood: http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-neighborhood-guide-lakewoodedgewater/