Dog Park Maintenance

Dog Park Maintenance

Plans for mitigating drainage:

We have developed a plan for drainage improvements–we want to ensure we get it repaired to the highest extent possible, considering the amount of use the park gets. It will involve earthwork, grading, additional subsurface drainage, sod, and potentially other surface materials. The dog park will need to be closed until the improvements/repairs are complete and the new grass has time to grow in/take root.

Our new operation and maintenance routines are:

The City Dog park location is situated in a low area to begin with. As such, drainage issues, are inherent problem and challenge with this site, especially with the amount of use it gets. There will always be wear and tear occurring which may require some new operational procedures. This is a problem with almost any dog park of this size that gets this much use. It’s like a football field with a never-ending game being played on it.

Dog Park Operational & Maintenance Routines

Dog Parks Grass Health

The grass at the dog parks need 'rest time' or time to recuperate during which there is no foot traffic. Similar to the center of a football or soccer field, the grass gets a lot use and this can wear away at the integrity of the grass. It must be given time to be nurtured by our Park Operations team with things like fertilizer and then time to regenerate. Frequent use isn't the only stressor for the dog park grass - above average rainfall can exacerbate the issues by loosening the soil which can cause the grass to be dislodged by feet (human & dog alike).

'Rest Periods'

Beginning in 2021, we will be implementing a plan to improve the health of our dog parks with regular closures. These closures will allow us to perform routine maintenance such as mowing practices, pest treatments, and best turf management practices (BMP’s). Without regular periods of rest, the turf as well as the decomposed granite areas will be exposed and deteriorated by heavy use, leaving the soil exposed in turf areas requiring re-sodding, and erosion in the non-turf areas. When re-sodding is required, the park must be closed for at least a 6-week period to allow proper installation, healthy establishment, and initial maintenance procedures to ensure a viable stand of turf.

The closures for each dog park will differ depending on a variety of factors that our team has considered to determine the appropriate length of time each park should be closed. Factors include volume of traffic (use), park ecology, rain/water exposure, etc. The dog parks will be closed regularly according to the following schedule:

Weekly Maintenance Closures (Full day)
  • Burbank – Monday
  • City – Tuesday and Thursday
  • Forest – Tuesday and Thursday
  • Greenwood – Wednesday
  • Lovett – Tuesday
  • Zachary – Wednesday
Closure Needs Explanation

Mitigating factors were used to develop the closure needs for the different dog parks.

  1. Usage rates at the BREC Dogs Parks; this is approximate with the monitoring of the BREC Teams
  2. As Burbank and Lovett Road dog parks are not Community Parks and monitored by other BREC Staff besides Community Park Staff.
  3. Burbank and City Dog Parks are high use dog parks, large in area and routine operation/maintenance practices take a longer period to complete.
  4. Forest Dog Park is a patron favorite dog park as well. Maintenance times are average, but due to size wear and tear maintenance practices are needed as well.
  5. Greenwood/Zachary Dog Parks are used, but not at the rate of the above mentioned.
  6. Lovett Dog Park usage will be determined as it is the initial opening.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. The park is closed, but I haven't seen anyone working in there. Why is it closed?
    1. The grass needs a resting period during which it can restabilize and regenerate. The grass should not be exposed to any foot/paw traffic given access by our Park Operations team.
  2. What happens if there is no resting period for the dog parks?
    1. Turf becomes thin and dies from wear and tear.
    2. Highly increased soil compaction throughout the dog park areas.
    3. Increased levels of ammonium in the soil and turf which will cause topical burn and bleed to the roots and cause damage.
    4. d. Areas that are wet from rain become soft and more susceptible to increased wear and tear.
    5. e. Heavily used dog parks will seem more dirty surfaces instead of lush, grassy areas.
  3. New turf was just put down, why is the park still closed?
    1. Sodding areas will not allow immediate access as the turf has an establishment rate of at least 6 weeks. This time frame defers with turf type, soil nomenclature, environmental conditions, and any pest presence to name a few elements of establishment. The turf must remain undisturbed to allow for a healthy, initial growth process.
  4. What are the issues faced by the dog parks being open continuously?
    1. With constant use and heavy soil compaction the turf does not have time to breathe. The turf is a living organism with roots that need air to pass through them in order to breath. Like the center of a football or soccer field, the turf must be given time to rest, regenerate, and allow best management practices for a viable growth medium.
    2. The Turf at the dog parks need 'rest time' or time to regenerate during which there is no heavy foot/paw traffic. Similar to the center of a football field, mouth of a soccer goal, increased hard turf use can wear the integrity of the turf, it must be given time to be nurtured by our Park Operations Team to incorporate best management practices (BMP’s) for the area with practices such as aeration, fertilization, topdressing, and time to regenerate for viable growth.
    3. Frequent use isn't the only stressor for the dog park turf and surface areas. Above average rainfall exacerbates this by loosening the soil causing the turf to be dislodge by dog’s feet with no time to rest and recuperate.
  5. Why are closures needed? What is happening when the dog parks are closed and the appearance of “No work is being done”?
    1. Best Management Practices (BMP’s) of Turf/ Tree/ Bedding/Surface areas
    2. Operation maintenance – mowing, edging, string trimming, blowing, replacement of surface material, drainage maintenance, debris/litter removal, etc.
    3. Pesticide treatments
    4. Allowing the turf to rest and grow
    5. Allowing soil and turf to dry after a rain reduces wear and tear as the soil and turf can be torn and dug more easily in soft wet conditions.
    6. Keeping the soils from constant use and compaction.
  6. What are the regular schedules for the dog park closures going forward?
    1. This will differ in the environment; we want to keep them somewhat close as not to have a disparity situation among them.
      1. Burbank – Monday
      2. City – Tuesday and Thursday
      3. Forest – Tuesday and Thursday
      4. Greenwood – Wednesday
      5. Lovett – Tuesday
      6. Zachary – Wednesday
  7. What are the factors that go into the different closure needs for the different dog parks?
    1. Size of the dog park
    2. Usage rate of the dog park (this is approximate based on monitoring by BREC Staff)
      1. Burbank Dog Park is a high use dog park and a very large dog park where routine maintenance practices take longer to complete.
      2. City Dog Park is a highly used dog park and routine mowing maintenance practices do not take as long as Burbank Dog Park, because it is smaller wear and tear is at a greater rate in the smaller dog park.
      3. Forest Dog Park is a patron favorite dog park as well. Maintenance times are average, but due to size wear and tear maintenance practices are needed as well.
      4. Greenwood Dog Parks is used, but not as much as the above mentioned.
      5. Lovett Dog Park usage will be determined after opening.