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Dog Parks Site Suitability Study

Division: Park Planning and Stewardship

dogs having fun in a park

“An initiative to explore how Montgomery Parks can help meet the desire for dog facilities in higher-density areas of Montgomery County. “


Montgomery Parks recognizes the desire for dog park facilities in the County, particularly in higher-density areas of the County, where residents are less likely to have a yard.

Resident input, staff research, park and recreation industry trends, and the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan has strongly indicated a growing desire for dog facilities in the park system.

The Dog Parks Site Suitability (DPSS) Study will be used as a reference tool for future park design and development projects. It may also help identify locations for temporary pop-up dog park events such as the “Yappy Hour” at Elm Street Park.

This is a suitability study to investigate possible options for future dog parks. Sites identified in this study do not guarantee the construction of a future dog park facility, nor limit the possibility of a dog park facility at other parks in the County.

Please note, a major tenet of the Montgomery Parks mission is to steward parks natural and historic resources and “… balance demand for recreation with the need for conservation”. Likewise, we are bound by the  Environmental Guidelines and cannot build new dog parks in environmentally sensitive areas, such as stream buffers, floodplains, and forested areas.


The study will:

  • help guide the location design and development of future dog parks in high-density areas of the County;
  •  serve as a reference tool for pop-up event planning; and
  • outline several different types of dog facilities that may be suitable for various locations.


  1. The DPSS Study first defined the Study Area as a half-mile radius from areas zoned for townhouses and/or multi-family homes.
  2. Parks within the half-mile Study Area were inventoried for their existing facilities, cultural resources, natural resources (such as stream buffers or floodplains), and other relevant factors.
  3. The parks within the Study Area were then scored according to the following criteria:
    • Size: Adequate space available for the facility (approximately 10,000 square feet)
    • Playground Proximity: Adequate distance from playgrounds to minimize conflicts
    • Residence Proximity: Adequate distance from homes to minimize noise transfer
    • Access: Walkable access and available parking if needed, depending on the location
    • Safety: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles and strategies (ex. lighting and visibility)

The highest scoring parks were then evaluated by Park Management and Operations staff in each Park Management region using their day-to-day knowledge of park maintenance and operations to determine the feasibility of each candidate site.

The next step is to solicit public input on these highest scoring parks. Once the review is complete, the Study will provide a list of preferred sites for future implementation by the Park Development Division as facility planning opportunities arise.

Public Input

Locations suggested by this study do not limit the possibility of a dog park facility at other parks in the County. Ideas and comments from the public are welcomed throughout the study process. Visit Montgomery Parks Open Town Hall webpage to review the parks in each Regional Services Center area:

Regional Services Center Areas

Map showing the Regional Services Centers service areas and zip codes.

Maps of Candidate Sites in the Regional Services Center area can be viewed here:

Project Calendar

The chart below shows the approximate plan schedule. The timing may be subject to change.





Potential sites ranking and scoring Complete


Park Management and Operations Staff potential sites review Complete

Spring Solicited public input on candidate park sites using the Montgomery Parks Open Town Hall web page through May 31, 2019 Complete
Summer Presentation of updates to the Montgomery County Planning Board, Thursday, June 13, 2019*

Montgomery Regional Office (MRO)
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD

Staff Report

Hand-off to Park Development Division
2020 Development of Concept Plan(s) for Implementation

*Date and time subject to change.  Please visit the Montgomery Planning Board Agenda webpage for updates.

Contact Us

As noted above, locations identified in this study do not preclude the possibility of a dog park facility at other parks in the County. Ideas and comments from the public are welcome throughout the process. The public is welcome to:

  • Check this web page for additional updates as the study progresses.
  • Contact the Park and Trail Planning Team for additional information: /  301-495-2595
Last Updated: March 17, 2023