WED, 27 JAN 2016 BY LINDA ROSADO
The works of landscape architects affect an unimaginable number of people. Spectators of parks, including dog parks, and other architectural wonders are the outcome of these architects. It takes a special blend of big picture thinking, planning and coordination with other people in different industries to make their work come to life. For the landscape architects that design for the recent increase in dog parks, a different kind of attention is needed. Dog parks are not only designed for the dogs but for the pet parents that accompany them. For the attentive architect looking to plan a dog park, here are some tips to consider when deciding the kind of turf used to the location of pet stations.
EFFICIENTLY UTILIZING THE AREA
In the first iterations of dog parks, a dog park could consist of a gate to contain dogs and turf. Now, landscape architects consider the areas the dogs use to the type of dogs that will be using them. In most recently constructed dog parks, you’ll notice there are two areas: one for bigger dogs and one for smaller dogs. The areas divided for specific purposes mean it makes sense for its use and the materials placed in it can be as well. A smaller area will contain fewer pet stations than a larger area for larger dogs. Multiple gate entries have been implemented and amenities like waste disposal and seating are placed for optimal, intuitive use.
PLANNING FOR PET PARENTS
More and more, dog parks are paying attention to the needs of pet owners. At the very basis of it, dog parks that provide dog waste solutions like pet stations to higher-end costs like irrigated turf mean they are addressing inevitable problems with thought. Shade provided by trees, for patrons and for dogs, should be spaced for all to use—by picnic tables, benches, activities for the dogs and the like. In the same way, water fountains for people and canines will keep visitors hydrated and free to enjoy the park as much as they can.
USING THE BEST MATERIALS
Landscape architects innately use green designs in their plans. Dog parks are no exception. Artificial grass is an option mostly considered for its resistance to dog urine and lack of need for maintenance, but in cases of hot weather, it can be extremely hot to the touch. Decomposed granite is an alternative because it also does not require high much maintenance, but is not accessible when wet and can get dusty. Depending on the budget allowed, any dog park can have landscaping fit for the use of the park and with adequate dog waste solutions.
In the past few years, the creation of dog parks has seen dazzling new heights with the use of new technology and materials. What may be a great solution to a dog park today can see improvement in the near future. With every dog park you design, thinking about the basis of every function and why it’s needed will help you continually plan a better park.