Commission Approves Plan For Dog Recreation Space On Boston Common
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For Immediate Release
February 25, 2013
Released By:
Parks and Recreation
For More Information Contact:
Parks Department

The Boston Parks and Recreation Commission today approved a proposal for creating “rotating” off leash dog recreation areas on Boston Common.  The approval follows a January 28 public hearing on the plans. 

The proponents, The Friends of the Public Garden and Common Canine, will now move forward in raising money to establish and maintain the recreation areas and to restore turf damaged at the site of a pilot off leash dog area located on the Beacon Street side of the Boston Common near the steps leading to Joy Street.

Major elements of plan approved today: 

  • The designation of five locations for off leash dog recreation which will be used on a “rotating” basis.  At any given time, two of the sites will be allowed for use.  The designated areas will change every six months per recommendation of the Boston Parks Department and Friends of the Public Garden.  The off-leash areas range in size from 21,000 to 57,500 square feet.
  • The five sites include three near the Beacon Street side of the park and two in the vicinity of the Parkman Bandstand by Tremont Street.
  • The boundaries of the five locations will be indicated by signs rather than fences.
  • Dog waste dispensers will be added and will be maintained by Common Canine.
  • It is estimated that in off leash hours, perhaps 12-30 dogs will use the recreational spaces.
  • Hours of operation will be 5am-10am and 4pm-9pm.
  • Rules for the recreation areas will include:  all dogs must be licensed and vaccinated, dogs must wear collars, no excess barking, and dog owners/handlers may not bring more than three dogs to the area at a time.

Friends of the Public Garden and Common Canine submitted the recreation proposal after reviewing the City of Boston Dog Recreation Ordinance which was established in 2004.  As outlined in Chapter 13 of the 2004 City of Boston Ordinances, there is an open, community-based process whereby residents can request a dog recreation space in their local park.  Following these guidelines, residents have successfully established official dog recreation spaces at Peters Park in the South End and Ronan Park in Dorchester. 

Information about the ordinance is posted on the City of Boston website: 



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