Upshur Dog Park is located at 4300 Arkansas Avenue, NW. It’s a public-private partnership between the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and Friends of 16th Street Heights Parks. The park encompasses 9,500 square feet of off-leash space where dogs can roam, socialize, and run freely.
The plans for the Upshur Dog Park were approved in February 2009, and the park was completed the following year in October at a cost of $286,000. Thus, the first official dog park in Ward 4 was created. The dog park includes fencing, double gates (to prevent accidental escapes), landscaping, a tool shed, benches, picnic tables, a dog fountain, and water bowls.
The dog park is free and available to all DC residents during the hours of 7 AM and 9 PM on weekdays and 8 AM to 9 PM on weekends. However, dogs must be vaccinated and registered in DC in order to use the park. In addition, dogs must display a Dog Park Registration tag. The Upshur Dog Park is limited to 20 dogs at a time.
Maintaining the dog park takes lots of neighborhood volunteers. Users are responsible for opening and closing the gates each day. The community must also clean and maintain the dog park, as well as the surrounding landscaping. Organizers often advertise the weekend cleanup dates on the Facebook page.
The surface of the Upshur Dog Park is pulverized granite, as preferred by DPR. But some dog owners complain that in dry conditions the gray dust spreads everywhere, and in wet weather, the surface is a muddy mess. Plus, when the ground is frozen, the surface can cut the pad of a dog’s paw.
In addition to the dog park, Upshur Park also contains a playground, baseball field, basketball court, swimming pool, and recreation center. If you own a dog in the 16th Street Heights area, be sure to check out Upshur Dog Park.