Monday, May 13th, 2013
YOUR CHICAGO DOG - Chicago Dog Parks: Wicker Park/Bucktown
With so many great hangouts for your pup, it can be hard to keep them straight. We want to give you the lowdown on Chicago's best dog parks: where they're at, who you’ll see, and what makes them special. Each month we'll be showcasing one dog-friendly Chicago neighborhood and the parks you’ll find there.
Wicker Park/Bucktown Dog Parks
The Wicker Park/Bucktown area of Chicago has quite the concentration of great dog parks. There are three all within walking distance--perfect if you'd like to host your own “Dog Park Crawl”! Each one has its own quirky charm. Let’s start the tour...
1. Churchill Field Playlot Park - 1825 N. Damen
This is definitely the most artistic of the bunch, continuing the creative vibe of the neighborhood with several dog-inspired murals. It's also the largest of these three. Along with several sandboxes, there is ample space for running around or a game of fetch. After all that exercise, your pet can rehydrate from a specially designed doggie drinking fountain.
2. Walsh Playground Park - 1722 N. Ashland
Positioned adjacent to the Metra train tracks, this little doggie oasis is almost hidden from the view of passerbys. It is a favorite of Chicago dog walkers during the day. You'll almost certainly find a few dog walking professionals (and their clients) enjoying the afternoon sun. Sheltered from traffic, it's an excellent enclave to escape bustling city life.
3. Wicker Park - 1425 N. Damen
Located in the southeast corner of the eponymous park, this canine playground has great sand boxes for digging (better than destroying the garden you’ve worked so hard on). It’s the most popular of these three, so there’s no shortage of playmates. Designed for dogs big and small, this park has a chainlink fence in addition to the park fence to ensure there’s no four-legged Houdini act.
HOW TO REGISTER YOUR DOG IN CHICAGO
To enter any Chicago dog park you must have the appropriate tags. Fear not, it’s actually a pretty easy process. First, check with your vet and make sure your dog’s shots are up to date. Then, register your pet with the city at http://chicityclerk.com/dog-registration/. Despite what you might think, it’s cheap! This ain’t a parking ticket situation. The average sterilized dog will only cost you about $5. Within 2 weeks the city will send you a sticker which you should take to your participating vet office, and they’ll give you a Dog Friendly Area (DFA) collar tag. That’s it; you and your dog are ready for action. While some pet owners use Chicago’s dog parks without the proper documentation, getting caught can be expensive. Fines are up to $500.
What neighborhood will we feature next month? Lakeview.
Here’s to you and your dog...enjoy the summer!
Cover photo courtesy of houstonpettalk.com
Park photos courtesy of Quill + Quotient