News

Long-awaited dog park to open in north Palo Alto

New space for canines is largest in city

The new dog park at Peers Park features a small dog play area, as seen from the left, and mixed-size play area (foreground). Photo by Veronica Weber.

For the first time in 25 years, a new dog park will open to the public in Palo Alto at Peers Park that boasts several features, including drinking fountains, seating, dog waste disposal stations and double-entry gates.

The city will celebrate the new open space area on Thursday evening, when Mayor Liz Kniss will cut the ceremonial ribbon at the event, which will be a "simple gathering," according to Community Services Department Chief Operating Officer Kristen O'Kane.

Construction on the new dog park began last April and finished on June 1 following a call for new canine-friendly spaces from the Community Services Department. The Peers dog park is located adjacent to the lawn and tennis court, with a separate section for small dogs.

There are three other off-leash dog parks in Palo Alto located at Hoover, Mitchell and Greer parks, but the Peers dog park was built markedly different from these as a result of community feedback and studies of successful dog parks. The former three dog parks have partial or complete dirt surfaces, while the Peers Park dog park has a grass surface. Additionally, the other three dog parks are half an acre or less, while the Peers dog park is spacious at 0.7 acres.

Dog owner Kellie Bloom lives in close proximity to the new dog park. In an interview, she praised the new facility and was particularly appreciative of features including nearby trees that provide shade, the water fountain and the small dog area.

"It is great to have a community dog park that's a couple of blocks away," Bloom said. "It is much healthier for the dog, which is better for the community."

Previously, Bloom took her dog to the Mitchell Park dog park, but found the dirt surface unappealing. For Bloom, the city's budget of $100,000 to $150,000 for the Peers dog park was a worthwhile expenditure.

"The dog park is a perfect use of that space (in Peers Park)," Bloom said. "The space was not being used at all and the park is huge. It's great."

The dog park at Peers is part of the city's Parks, Trails, Natural Space and Recreation Master Plan, approved last September, which proposed building six new dog parks. The Peers dog park will also abide by new rules adopted this past January for city dog parks: Pet owners are allowed to bring a maximum of three dogs to any dog park in the city and dog park hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The city is planning to build another dog park in late 2019 or early 2020 to further develop spaces in Palo Alto for dogs to roam around, according to Daren Anderson, manager of the city's Open Space, Parks and Golf Division.

The city's ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Peers Park, 1899 Park Blvd. Community members are invited to bring their furry loved ones.

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Comments

7 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 13, 2018 at 10:26 am

Online Name is a registered user.

"Previously, Bloom took her dog to the Mitchell Park dog park, but found the dirt surface unappealing. For Bloom, the city's budget of $100,000 to $150,000 for the Peers dog park was a worthwhile expenditure.

The new park is beautiful, shady and grassy -- and a bargain at the price.

Re Mitchell, every year the city shuts off half of the park to reseed the grass and let the grass grow, a process that takes a few months. And every year they neglect to water the new grass so it dies pretty quickly.


8 people like this
Posted by Tom from Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2018 at 11:37 am

Tom from Midtown is a registered user.

We (and our dog) are very much looking forward to the Peers Park dog run. I also echo the remarks of "Online Name" regarding Mitchell Park. In addition to the poor maintenance of the grass there, the space is in dire need of trees. We live near Hoover Park, and despite the less-than-desirable dirt surface there (especially after it rains), it is always a delightful spot because of the trees. The fact that Mitchell Park gets very hot so quickly in the summer is the main reason we have gone there just twice.


11 people like this
Posted by Rob
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 13, 2018 at 12:51 pm

What a waste of money.


16 people like this
Posted by Happy Dog
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Ah--Hooooooooooooo !
This is so awesome.
My dogs are already pulling me out the door.
THANK YOU Palo Alto!


3 people like this
Posted by Cur Mudgeon
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 13, 2018 at 5:42 pm

The grass will die quickly from dog urine. Needs a LOT of water to offset the nitrogen. Sorry, but that's reality. Yes, Mitchell needs trees. Hoover dog run needs a higher fence as long as there are squirrels in the trees nearby. 3 feet is inadequate for larger athletic dogs.


10 people like this
Posted by Happy Dog
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2018 at 5:46 pm

@Cur Mudgeon
I like your posts.
On a scale of one to ten. Urinate.


10 people like this
Posted by Sally
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 13, 2018 at 8:40 pm

Community Services has a "Chief Operating Officer"... ???? Don't they already have a director, two assistant directors, and a bunch of high-paid "division" directors?


6 people like this
Posted by Grrr
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2018 at 1:56 am

Unfortunately, this won't prevent dog feces on my property.


13 people like this
Posted by Grrrr2
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2018 at 7:13 am

Unfortunately this won’t prevent the neighbors from parking in front of my house


14 people like this
Posted by Grrr2
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2018 at 7:15 am

Unfortunately this won’t prevent all the robocalls I get.


3 people like this
Posted by more parks needed
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

thank you for finally getting a dog park, though it is incomprehensible to think we've spent 150K for this. We need at least 5 more dog parks in PA, but surely you can get a more bargain price for a fence and a dog bowl!!
The more legal areas there are in PA for our city's canine residents to play and 'do their business' the less likely are the scofflaws from using our schools and neighbors front yards.
Come on Palo Alto City Council and leadership, surely we can do better! Menlo Park, Redwood City, and MV, all our immediate neighbors with less money than our city have managed to provide substantial space for their canine citizens, why can't we?


4 people like this
Posted by Point Break
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 14, 2018 at 10:53 am

@Cur Mudgeon : "The grass will die quickly from dog urine."

Actually, that's not the real problem that is killing the grass.
The grass dies because the city doesn't properly maintain the lawn. They either over water it till its a flooded mud pit (particularly over watered in the winter for some reason), and then they don't water at all for weeks and it dries up and dies.


10 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

Online Name is a registered user.

$150,000 is a bargain given the tens of millions of dollars the city spends on bollards and road furniture.


10 people like this
Posted by So can we finally have clean schools then?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Tried to take my kid to play ball in one of the PA schools the other day. No luck - dogs everywhere, running off leashes, fouling the grass and jumping at the ball and making me worried about the kid's safety. Had to leave, disgusted. Last time I checked the schools are for kids, not for dogs' toilets!


25 people like this
Posted by DepputyDog
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Let's get dog owners to ONLY use this park and then maybe we can keep our other parks fit for human beings. I have never seen a group of people, dog owners, with a worse image. Unless they are constantly monitored there are a heck of a lot of dog owners that will let their dogs do their business anywhere in town, on your lawn, in front of your house, and if they do happen to be nice enough to pick up their crap way too many of them will just leave it around town under a bush or drop it in someone else's trash can stinking it up.

At the Baylands just a couple fo days ago an owner to two pit bulls walked off the trail, and thinking no one was watching him waiting until the dogs pooped so he would not have to pick it up.

Those of us who are not dog owners and who are dog lovers should demand more from our fellow residents who own dogs, and when in many years they have proven they cannot be responsible, we need to do something. The thing to do would be to limit dogs to one park so that everyone else can enjoy the rest of the city without the dirtiness and rudeness of some dog owners who ruin it for everyone else. Either that or allow people to video dog owner's breaking the law and present it as evidence to get them fined.


3 people like this
Posted by Point Break
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 14, 2018 at 1:37 pm

With the last two posts this thread just crossed the line from being comments about the subject of the article (the new dog park), to a forum for dog haters to vent about how much they dislike dogs and their owners. At least we made it to 13 comments before the thread got hijacked this time.


13 people like this
Posted by So can we finally have clean schools then?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2018 at 2:35 pm

@point break:
Typical illogical response, trying to distract from the real issue.
Not liking dog feces is not the same as hating dogs.
Not condoning law-breaking and not agreeing to get sick because of irresponsible dog owners is not the same as hating them.
Well, I like human children more than dogs, I suppose in your world it is logical to call me a "hater" for that.


28 people like this
Posted by Madias
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 15, 2018 at 9:21 am

What I don’t appreciate is when a dog walker puts poop in my garbage can. I also don’t like dogs so wish dog walkers would keep their distance and respect my space.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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