Living in Downtown can be difficult for dog owners. Houses and apartments with little or no grassy areas for dogs to play on combine with the city’s strict leash laws to often leave owners wondering how to give their canine companions the freedom and exercise they need.
The opening of the Loring Park Dog Grounds on June 27 should help improve the lives of dogs and their owners. Nestled in the north corner of Loring Park, the dog grounds is a 10,000-square-foot fenced-in area just for pooches and their human companions.
Judging by the crowds at the grounds on opening day, it seems obvious that it’s going to be a popular place.
The opening ceremony was kicked off with a speech by Patricia Bloodgood, President of doggrounds.org and was followed with speeches from Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board member Tracy Nordstrom, developer of Calhoun Square and major donor Ray Harris, Council Member Lisa Goodman, and of course, lots of barking from all the dogs.
The new park features limestone boulders for dogs to climb and sit on, a two-ton steel bridge for dogs to play on, a concrete bowl holding 65 gallons of filtered water, a decorative totem pole, trees and plenty of room for the canines to run around.
“For dogs Downtown that are not allowed off their leashes, it’s a place for them to exercise and play. It’s a place for the dogs to socialize and the people who own them to socialize,” Harris said.
Said Bloodgood, “My husband and I have lived in this neighborhood since 1984 and it wasn’t until we became dog owners in 2002 that we actually started meeting and talking to our neighbors…this park is going to be a wonderful addition to having people connect with people and dogs connect with dogs.”
Harris predicted the dog grounds will become the most popular part of Loring Park. He said of the all the projects he’s worked on to improve parks, this one stands out.
“I think this one is making people happier than anything else I’ve ever worked on. I mean people really are smiling.”