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Dog park opens at Fowler
Jerry Kinsey, Forsyth County's parks and rec director, shows visitors the double gate area at the new dog park at Fowler Park. Owners can unleash their dogs here before entering the park, which is set to open today. - photo by Autumn McBride

Dog park rules

• Open 8 a.m. to sunset (unless otherwise posted)

• Owners must dispose of pet waste properly in designated on-site containers

• All dogs entering have to be licensed and vaccinated

• All dogs must be leashed until safely inside and returned to a leash prior to leaving

• Dog owners must remain in fenced in area while their dogs use the park

• Pet owners inside the dog park must be 18 or older. Children accompanying dog owners inside of area must be at least 12 and strictly supervised by pet owner

• Aggressive dogs, females in heat and puppies less than 4 months old are not allowed

• Smoking and eating are not allowed inside the dog park

• Sick or injured dogs are not allowed

• No more than two dogs per person are allowed on any single visit

• Visitors and dog owners assume all risks related to park use

Source: Forsyth County government

Earlier this week, Linda Smith stood behind a fence with dog Chloe, watching children on a playground at Fowler Park.

Starting Friday, however, the children could be looking in as Chloe runs around freely in Forsyth County’s second dog park.

"We might come back on Friday," Smith said. "Chloe would love that."

Fowler Park, near Highway 9 and Castleberry Road, has been friendly to dogs on leashes since opening in late February. But this playground, set back in the woods past the soccer fields, is just for them.

Totaling nearly 1.5 acres, it is slightly larger than Forsyth’s other dog park at Windermere, said Jerry Kinsey, the county’s director of parks and recreation.

It’s also much shadier due to the tall trees nearby, Kinsey said, and has two fountains with separate spouts for people (up high) and dogs (near the ground).

The area is divided into areas for small and large dogs, with the latter considered 35 pounds or heavier.

The dog park has been much anticipated by residents, said Kinsey, who added that the county’s green space properties may include additional ones.

"People love their dogs and they want them to have a place to play just like a kid," he said.

The new dog park was always in the plans for Fowler, but the need to relocate it delayed the project until after the park’s opening, Kinsey said.

Play equipment for the dogs could be added in the future, perhaps paid for through donations, he said.

According to Kinsey, the community demand for the dog park could be an indication of future support.

"I bet if you come here this weekend, you’ll see quite a few people here," he said.