The Columbia Heights Dog Park sits on property owned by WMATA, which has allowed us to use the space for our dog park since 2009. In 2018, WMATA decided to sell the park. We have been organizing the community and working with District officials to ensure that the District purchases the land and saves the park.
The District is now in the process of negotiating the purchase with WMATA. We hope to the purchase will be finalized by the end of the year.
The History of Our Advocacy
Since January 2018, we have been working to urge the District of Columbia Council to allocate funds to buy the property and save the park. In May 2018, the Council adopted a budget that provides $1.5 million to purchase the Columbia Heights Dog Park and improve the Upshur Dog Park. The fiscal year in which the money was allocated began October 1, 2019. At that point, the District began negotiations for the sale of the property with WMATA. Unfortunately, WMATA didn’t honor their policy of granting the District a right of first refusal and instead, it put the property up for auction.
In May 2019, WMATA wrote to the District and announced it was ending the auction and would start negotiating with the District for the sale of the property. That process is still ongoing. On September 3, 2019 we wrote to the District to ask for any information related to the sale.
Why Should the District Save the Dog Park?
The Columbia Heights Dog Park is the only dog park in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. Those of us who live in the neighborhood need a place where our dogs can run and play.
People who go to the dog park, don't just go for their dogs. The dog park allows us to connect with our neighbors and fosters a sense of community.
Green space is important for every neighborhood. Columbia Heights is already lacking in green space and we shouldn't be stripped of the little we have.
Once this space is gone, we won't get it back. That means that communities with different needs—whether a space to run their dogs, play with their kids, or gather with neighbors—will be competing to use even less space.
Which Local Businesses, NonProfits, & Others support us?
What Are people saying About the Columbia Heights Dog Park?
"This is an important resource for dogs and dog owners, but it's also a major hub for community building! This is where I meet my neighbors, discuss community issues, and make friends." - Chelsea S
"I live a block from the dog park and take my dog there at least twice a day. I don't know what we would do without it. But, the dog park is even more than just a necessity for living in the Columbia Heights neighborhood with a dog. It is also a part of the community. I have met so many of my neighbors and made many friends at that park. It is large part of why I feel connected to my neighborhood." - Maggie G
"The community, both furry and human, at the Columbia Heights dog park is hands down awesome. Our dog Cooper would be lost without the park and the opportunity to socialize and play with other dogs and humans. It's been an amazing way to meet people in the neighborhood and fosters a real sense of connection. I urge Metro to find a way to secure the land for continued use as a dog park!" - Brittany P
"In addition to giving my dog a safe place to play, socialize, and get exercise, the dog park was critical in fostering a community in Columbia Heights! Because you tend to see the same people day after day at the park, we were really able to get to know our neighbors, make friends, and work together to take care of the community." - Elizabeth J
"Green spaces are very important in communities. In addition spending time with pets has been shown to reduce stress. We all need that!" - Robin I
"I have met people who’ve become good friends and been more connected to the community because of this park."- Kristin S
"I agree with several others on here: even if you don't use this park, public space is extremely valuable in DC and is rare in Columbia Heights. Once undeveloped space is gone, the city will never get it back. There is no shortage of real estate in DC; developers just don't want to pay market rates to acquire it by purchasing existing private parcels." - Kevin A
"I consistently use this dog park for my dog. It provides much needed space for canine friends to roam off leash. Having a dog park adds incredible value to a neighborhood, a lot of Columbia Heights residents (and those in neighborhoods of close proximity) would be deeply affected if this park were to close." - Monique B