Ann Arbor addresses dog park demand closer to downtown

Ann Arbor-area dogs have a little more room to run now that a new city dog park has opened at Broadway Park just north of downtown.
Amy Kuras, landscape architect with Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation, oversaw the creation of the new park. She says it helps fill a longstanding need for more dog parks, as identified by the Parks and Recreation Open Space plan.
"Our survey showed that having a centrally located dog park, especially in or near downtown, is one of the most important amenities desired by the community," Kuras says.
Broadway is the city's third off-leash dog park, and the first since the Swift Run and Olson parks opened at the far south and north ends of the city about nine years ago following several years of prodding by proponents. As with those parks, an annual permit is required for access to off-leash areas.
The city uses a set of guidelines for establishing new dog parks, and Kuras says the biggest challenges include finding a site that isn't right next to a residential area and where neighbors won't object. Displacing other park uses is also a concern when scouting an existing site.
Kuras says there is still desire for additional dog parks, particularly on the west side of town. But the new park should offer dogs, and their owners, a lot to be happy about.
"Broadway Park is a beautiful site located near the river, with shade trees and open lawn area," she says. "The park has small and large dog areas, and perimeter fencing to allow dogs to run free."

Eric Gallippo is an Ypsilanti-based freelance writer.

Photos courtesy of Amy Kuras.
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