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Local Places To Park Your Dog
by Tribune Staff
Mar 13, 2012 | 1635 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune File - A dog owner lets his dogs frolic at the Sparks Marina, which has an off-leash area where animals can swim and play.
Tribune File - A dog owner lets his dogs frolic at the Sparks Marina, which has an off-leash area where animals can swim and play.
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RENO — The seasons are relative here in northern Nevada, but technically spring is less than a week away. Traditionally, that means it is time to start thinking about getting outdoors with your canine companion.

To get ready for warmer weather, Washoe County’s Department of Regional Parks and Open Space will be closing Link Piazzo Dog Park, located in Hidden Valley Regional Park, from March 26 through April 16 for seasonal turf maintenance.

Seasonal turf maintenance at the dog park takes place every spring and fall in order to keep the lawn areas healthy and the dog park in the best possible condition.

Both the large and small dog areas will be closed during the three-week period.

The dog park will re-open at 8 a.m. on April 17.

In light of this turning of the seasons, now is a good time to recap the local facilities were dog owners to can take their furry pals for a romp.

Hidden Valley Regional Park

The aforementioned Link Piazzo Dog Park is located at the Hidden Valley Regional Park grounds at 4740 Parkway Drive in Reno. The area’s newest dog park, the gated play area opened in September 2008.

Separated by a conjoining fence line, Link Piazzo Dog Park is broken into two gated play areas: one area for smaller breeds and another for big breeds. Occasionally large-breed puppies can be found playing in the small dog side, but owners should make sure all dogs interact kindly and behave.

The park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gates are closed after everyone leaves the park, so there is no nighttime access.

Sparks Marina

The Sparks Marina is much more than walking paths, trees and beaches surrounding a 77-acre lake. 

Located at 300 Howard Drive, the marina also has a two-acre dog park. Dogs must be on a leash at all times outside of the fenced dog park and are prohibited in swimming areas except for the dog park.

At the marina people can bring their dog to play with dogs of all sizes and weights. Although the park is surrounded by a metal fence, small dogs might be able to slip through the bars. Owners should also know that large and small dogs play together at the Sparks Marina dog park.

The Sparks Marina dog park is free and open to the public during the day, from about dawn to dusk. If the family dog loves the water and needs a quick place to cool off, the Sparks Marina is the place to go.

Park rangers offered some tips for those going to the marina for the first time. First, when entering the off-leash area, use the two gates in the entrance area. This allows the dog to transition into the off-leash area. Upon entering the main field, move away from the entrance area and away from the fence. This will help disperse any dogs that will want to welcome a newbie dog to the park.

Once in the off-leash area, supervise the dog’s play. Remember that both owner and dogs are here to enjoy the sociability and exercise that the park provides.

Third, waste bags and receptacles are provided, but sometimes not refilled until after the weekend so it is advised by the rangers to bring some bags. Cleaning up after the dog is also a must.

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

Another dog park with more room to roam is the Rancho San Rafael Regional Dog Park, located at 1595 N. Sierra St. in Reno. The dog park is open 8 a.m. to dusk and the park is partially enclosed with white fencing.

Although there is a fence, dogs can easily crawl under, jump through or walk out of so owners should bring well behaved dogs who come when called to Rancho San Rafael’s dog park.

The field is quite large and therefore there is an abundant amount of room to run. One drawback to this park that can be seen when driving past is the lack of trees, which means there is no shade on warm spring and summer days.

For more information about Link Piazzo Dog Park and Rancho San Rafael’s dog park, visit www.washoecounty.us/parks/parksearchresults.
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