BALTIMORE, MD — Dog owners know their four-legged friends need space — a lot of it. Baltimore area dogs have their pick of scenic routes, from long walks around the Inner Harbor to jaunts through Lake Roland.
Just how dog-friendly is Baltimore for Fido?
The Trust for Public Land took the time to dig in to the data to find the answer, ranking U.S. cities based on the number of dog parks where four-legged friends can frolick off the leash.
One city in Maryland ranked among the top 100 cities for dog parks, the nonprofit said:
BaltimorePopulation: 620,488Dog parks: 3Dog parks per 100,000 residents: 0.5
Baltimore’s has two dog parks on the southeast side and one on the southwest.
Canton Dog Park; 3221 Toone Street, Baltimore, MD 21224.
Latrobe Park in Locust Point; 1529 Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230.
Every city in the top quarter of the rankings had at least 1.8 dog parks per 100,000 residents.
No city can hold a candle to Boise, Idaho, which has 15 dog parks for its roughly 225,400 people. That’s a whopping 6.7 off-leash dog areas per 100,000 residents.
The next closest was Portland, Oregon, with 5.2 dog parks per 100,000 residents. Henderson, Nevada, ranked third in the country, while Norfolk, Virginia, and Las Vegas rounded out the top five.
Cities that ranked in the bottom 75 percent of America each had less than 1.8 dog parks per 100,000 residents, including Baltimore.
While Charm City dog owners may long for more places for their pooches to roam, they should take solace in the fact they don’t live in the cities listed below, which tied for dead last. Not one has a single dog park.
Garland, Texas Lubbock, Texas Santa Ana, California Newark, New Jersey Hialeah, Florida
Each year, the organization’s Center for City Park Excellence gathers data on the nation’s largest city park systems.
"This year, we decided to take a closer look at the dog parks data because they are becoming so popular," Charlie McCabe, the center’s director, said in a statement. "That led to these rankings of cities with the most dog parks relative to population."
Dog parks, meaning off-leash dog areas, were among the fastest growing park amenities in the combined parks systems of the 100 largest cities, The Trust for Public Land said. The group, which aims to create parks and protect land to foster healthy and livable communities, released its findings in March.
There were 774 dedicated dog parks in the 100 largest cities last year. That’s 38 more than there were in 2016, and 40 percent more than there were in 2009, the group noted.
The survey found that New York had the most number of dog parks with 140 off-leash dog areas. New York ranked just 28th in the country though because that amounts to 1.6 dog parks per 100,000 residents.
The rankings are solely based on the number of dog parks for every 100,000 residents. Factors such as park quality and popularity weren’t contributing factors.
The most successful dog parks, the group noted, are built and maintained by people working together. Specifically, the group said strong collaboration is needed between the public parks agency, the community and local dog advocates who have a strong ownership stake in the park.
"People have many questions about ‘the right way’ to build a dog park and want to bring together the correct combination of people and resources," McCabe said. "We’re providing this information to serve as a guide."