Kudos to the Miami-Dade Park Department for their recent addition of a new bark park at the south-end of Tropical Park. I’ve been there every weekend since it opened, and this park boasts more than just an enclosed field to unleash the furriest member of your family.
On the weekends, one of my favorite things to do is go to the dog park with my 3-year-old little man and my white 2-year old cotton-ball pup, Sonny. It’s a great way to tire them both out.
In the past my closest option to give Sonny some outdoor off-the-leash time was to head to Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove. Although the park does have beautiful views of the bay, it isn’t convenient to my South Miami home, and the section set apart for the dogs is nothing short of a large enclosed field that quickly turns into a mud pit after a few drops of rain. Considering I like to bring Sonny home as white as he was when we left, this used to mean dressing him up in his snazzy green “Macho Mutt” tee every time we left the house. And in the 100° Miami heat, he wasn’t always very appreciative.
Tropical Park’s new ‘Bark Park’ is located on the lake, and provides a large secure entrance where you can be sure your dog will not escape before you enter into one of two subdivided play areas: one for dogs under 35 lbs and another for dogs over 35 lbs. Even though my petite pup plays rough, he prefers to chase the tiny terriers, so that’s where my son and I spend our time.
The park includes a paved path surrounded by lawn areas (instead of dirt fields that can quickly become muddy), and newly planted trees that will provide shade as they mature. There are ample places to sit, from picnic tables under a tented area to benches scattered along the path. And as a bonus for the pups, there is an obstacle course, doggie fountains and a doggie mister for those really hot afternoons.
It’s tough to find places that I enjoy visiting and that don’t bore my son to death, which is why we frequent the new bark park so much. There’s only so much time I can spend with him at the playground without going stir-crazy. Here, my son and our dog can run around (and not escape) while I relax and socialize.
The social aspect of the park is one of its great perks. There is something about people being with their dogs that makes them friendly and engaging. Several times, I have seen groups of teens (or even tweens) hanging out on the picnic benches chatting and just observing other people’s dogs running around and getting into trouble. I, on the other hand, have a good time eavesdropping on their conversations thinking to myself “Did I say things like that when I was that age?!” It’s a win-win for everyone.
One suggestion I have to improve this and future bark parks is to include a greater variety of activities within the enclosed area for all members of the family. It would be great to include a small tot lot or playground area for my son to enjoy the park as well as for my pup. Since dogs are not allowed on playgrounds, there is nowhere where dogs and kids can play side-by-side, helping the working parents of Miami tire out their children and pets simultaneously. Well, I can dream, can’t I?
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- Home > Tropical Dog Park A Success!
- Craig Chester on County, BPAC Propose Immediate Improvements for Rickenbacker Causeway
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- reortemogiemn on Listen Up: Miami 21 Discussion on WLRN Today
- Felipe Azenha on County, BPAC Propose Immediate Improvements for Rickenbacker Causeway
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