Denver dog park to close soon

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DENVER -- Denver’s most popular dog park is getting ready to close its gates for good as Denver Parks and Recreation will break ground on a new recreation center near City Park.

The Josephine dog park was built five years ago and was always meant to be temporary while the city prepared for the new rec center.

Officials are getting close to breaking ground, but dog owners don’t want to see the park go. Some have started an petition to build a new park nearby.

“We love it here. We come almost every day. Sometimes twice a day. Or three times a day,” Kelly Bockert said.

Bockert has been going to dog park for more than a year with her dog Leia. Dogs do not need to be kept on a leash within the enclosed acre of land. They can run free and interact with other dogs.

“This is the one dog park in town where you can always come and have a million dogs here, which is the point of coming, to let them socialize and play,” Bockert said.

“It’ll be a huge loss. This dog park is crowded all the time,” dog owner Allison Rifkin said. “They can’t technically be off the leash at any other park so here they can just get their energy out and actually get a workout whereas when you’re on the leash unless you’re running miles with them they can’t really get that.”

The next closest dog park, Fuller dog park, is a little more than 1 1/2 miles away. Josephine dog park regulars say it will not be a convenient switch.

“I don’t have a car. I get around by bike so I rely on walking here a lot so there’s not really another place close by that I can walk to,” Bockert said. “Just walks in the neighborhood will have to suffice which is a bummer.”

Plans for the new rec center include a smaller area for dogs to play. It is slated to open in 2017. Denver Parks and Recreation said it is working on new ideas for more dog parks in the future.​

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