Free to Roam: LI Dog Parks on the Rise, by Lindsay Christ

Below is an excerpt from an article on Pet Press of Long Island, Spring 2013 Issue. Following the excerpt is a link to the full article.

Imagine a place where dogs run freely together, playfully romping on fresh green grass. Where canines of myriad breeds share the same water fountain while their owners exchange ideas. A place that’s clean, accessible, popular, safe.

While it may sound like dog heaven, this is actually a common description of a dog park—designated off-leash areas where canines can get much-needed exercise and socialization time while their owners trade tips on everything from training to proper nutrition. And following a national trend, they’re sprouting up all across Long Island.

“We’ve seen a really big increase in dog parks on Long Island, both in Nassau and Suffolk counties, over the last five or six years,” says Ginny Munger Kahn, president of nonprofit LI-Dog Owners Group. “It’s been the result of collaborations between organizations of dog owners and elected officials and parks department officials.”

Currently Nassau has 10 dog parks and Suffolk has 11, she adds. Just six years ago Suffolk had only one. Just within the past year, three new dog parks opened in Nassau County: in Valley Stream, Massapequa and Eisenhower Park. And more are set to open in both counties. Supporters point to several reasons why dog parks are gaining ground.

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