Several of my students have asked me if there is a place nearby where they can exercise their dogs off-leash. I encourage well-supervised off-leash play with other dogs, both for exercise, mental stimulation, and to keep doggy social skills well-rehearsed.
After doing a little digging, it didn’t appear that there was anywhere close by that allowed dogs off-leash (the closest park I found was in San Marcos), so I e-mailed Ashley Seay, the coodinator for Dripping Springs Parks and Recreation department, asking firstly, if there were any parks that allowed dogs to play off-leash, and secondly, whether the Parks Department had considered assigning space to a bona fide Dog Park. Her response is below:
Currently there are not set areas were your dog can be off leash. The suggested areas that we can allow are areas that children are not at play, as in soccer or football practices and games, or areas where horses are around. The best area at this time would be at Harrison Ranch. When you enter into the park a short ways up there is a large field on the left. This area will be developed into an arena over the next few years but for now it is still an open field. As long as your dogs are under your control and not roaming free within the park I can allow off-leashed dogs there at this time. As for a future dog park, we have not had expressed interest, until this email, that the community would like this type of feature. I would need to show more interested from the community to gain the support of the parks board and the city council. I also have another park, Charro Ranch, that I can look into allowing this sort of activity there.
Thank you and if you have any more questions please let me know.
“Preserving Texas Hill Country for its people & their recreation & leisure, for its history and the sense of place, for its beauty and the open spaces.”
So first off, you can apparently take your dog off-leash to Harrison Ranch Park. That is very good news! If you do so, please be responsible owners and keep your dogs under control and scoop your poop. This is not a privilege we wish to lose through irresponsible stewardship. Review Dog Park Etiquette in my previous post if you’re unsure about the do’s and don’ts at a dog park.
And secondly, it sounds like there is potential to get a proper dog park organized! So, Dripping Springs residents and local dog lovers unite! I would like to try to create a group of local citizens interested in campaigning for and developing a plan for a local dog park. If you are interested in helping, or would like to add your name to a list of people who would use the dog park, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .