CHARLOTTE, NC – Dog owners know their four-legged friends need space, in large part. Especially the space where they can roam without a leash. To run. To bark. Wrestle. Hunt. You know, dog things.
But have you ever wondered how dog friendly North Carolina – or even Charlotte – is for Fido?
Fortunately, the good people of The public land trust took the time to dig into the data to find the answer. And if you thought we did well compared to other cities in America, well guess again.
No city in North Carolina ranks in the top 25 cities for dog parks, the association said.
In contrast, all of the ranked North Carolina cities were among the poorest 75 percent of cities in the United States, meaning they each have less than 1.8 dog parks per 100,000 people.
- Durham (Rank: 45)
- Population: 265,510
- Dog parks: 3
- Dog parks per 100,000 inhabitants: 1.1
- Greensboro (Rank: 47)
- Population: 286,435
- Dog parks: 3
- Dog parks per 100,000 inhabitants: 1
- Raleigh (Rank: n ° 69)
- Population: 457,182
- Dog parks: 3
- Dog parks per 100,000 inhabitants: 0.7
- Charlotte (Rank: 70)
- Population: 1,063,054
- Dog parks: 6
- Dog parks per 100,000 inhabitants: 0.6
- Winston-Salem (Rank: 87)
- Population: 244,338
- Dog parks: 1
Each city in the top quarter of the ranking had at least 1.8 dog parks per 100,000 people. While impressive, no city can stand up to the candle in Boise, Idaho, which has 15 dog parks for its approximately 225,400 residents. That’s a whopping 6.7 off-leash dog zones per 100,000 people.
The second closest was Portland, Oregon, with 5.2 dog parks per 100,000 people. Henderson, Nevada, placed third in the country, while Norfolk, Virginia and Las Vegas rounded out the top five.
While dog owners in these towns may feel disheartened, they should take comfort in the fact that they do not live in the towns listed below, which are tied for the last. None have a single dog park.
- Garland, Texas
- Lubbock, Texas
- Santa Ana, California
- Newark, New Jersey
- Hialeah, Florida
Each year, the organization’s Center for City Park Excellence collects data on the nation’s largest city park systems.
“This year, we have decided to take a closer look at the data from the dog parks as they are becoming so popular,” Charlie McCabe, director of the center, said in a statement. “This has led to this ranking of the cities with the most dog parks relative to the population.”
Dog parks, that is, off-leash dog zones, were among the fastest growing parks in the combined park systems of the 100 largest cities, The Trust for Public Land said. The group, which aims to create parks and protect land to foster healthy and livable communities, released its findings in March.
There were 774 dedicated dog parks in the 100 largest cities last year. That’s 38 more than in 2016, and 40% more than in 2009, the group noted.
The survey found that New York City had the most dog parks with 140 off-leash dog areas. New York City only ranks 28th in the country, as that represents 1.6 dog parks per 100,000 residents.
Rankings are only based on the number of dog parks per 100,000 population. Factors such as the quality and popularity of the park were not contributing factors.
The most successful dog parks, the group noted, are built and maintained by people working together. Specifically, the group said close collaboration is needed between the public parks agency, the community and local dog advocates who have a strong ownership interest in the park.
“People have a lot of questions about the ‘right way’ to build a dog park and want to bring together the right mix of people and resources,” said McCabe. “We are providing this information to serve as a guide.”
Click here to read the full report.
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