Durham Is Getting a New Dog Park
The bigger Northgate Dog Park has a ways to go before its planned relocation.
By Lauren Horsch

Rejoice, ye dogs of Durham!  (Or, maybe don’t.  Read on.)

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department received a $25,000 grant this month to build a new and much-needed off-leash dog park at Duke Park.  The grant is one of twenty-five given by PetSafe, a company that sells pet-behavior products, as part of its “Bark for Your Park” program.

Right now, the city has three dog parks: a postage stamp in downtown Durham, a former Little League field in Northgate Park, and the way-out-in-the-burbs Piney Wood.  The Northgate park lies in a floodplain and, whenever it rains, devolves into a muddy gunk.  Parks & Rec is currently raising funds to relocate it to Rock Quarry Park, 1.5 miles north, though, given that the city has raised less than $1,000 of a needed $150,000, that move seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

So this new park is great news for downtown canine lovers, right?  Sure, except that twenty-five grand doesn’t buy you a whole lot of park.  This dog park — which will open next spring — will be a “neighborhood-maintained” park, modeled after the teensy-weensy dog park at Roxboro and Elliot streets.

Something is better than nothing, we suppose.

In other Durham dog-related news: you’ve only got two weeks to get into the habit of picking up your dog’s poo, which you probably should have been doing all along, but anyway.  In March, county commissioners approved a new pet-waste ordinance that had a grace period until September 14.  After that, failure to scoop will set you back between $50 and $150.

And if you’re wondering how much dog poop is produced in Durham County each day, be grateful to whichever lucky bureaucrat got tasked with figuring that out.  The answer: 35,263.5 pounds. 

“The City Council announces the opening of a new dog park at the corner of Earl and Sommerset, near the Ralph’s.  They would like to remind everyone that dogs are not allowed in the dog park.  People are not allowed in the dog park.  It is possible that you will see hooded figures in the dog park.  DO NOT APPROACH THEM. DO NOT APPROACH THE DOG PARK.   The fence is electrified and highly dangerous.  Try not to look at the dog park, and, especially, do not look for any period of time at the hooded figures.  The dog park will not harm you.”


Cecil Baldwin talks openly about HIV for the first time. I love him, and I’m so incredibly proud of him. Honored to call him a friend, my fictional podcast boyfriend, and a stigma-ending badass.


My heart leapt. My heart soared! My heart metaphorically performed a number of aerial activities and literally it began to beat hard.

“Oh?” I said, my voice more tremble than word.

(Episode 25: One Year Later-Welcome to Night Vale)