Boise is #1 in U.S. dog park ranking

Boise doesn’t have the most dog parks of any major city in the United States — but it does have the most per capita.

Idaho’s capital city was top dog in a 100-city ranking of dog parks by The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence.

“Boise stands out for having so many parks available compared to the population size,” said Ali Hiple, program coordinator for the Center for Park Excellence.

The city with the most dog parks? New York City has 140.

The group’s ranking shows Boise has a total of 15 dog parks, or 6.7 dog parks per 100,000 residents, edging out second-ranked cities, Portland, Oregon, and Henderson, Nevada. Those both have 5.2 parks per 100,000 residents. See the full rankings here: www.tpl.org/dogparks

A “dog park,” as defined in the ranking, isn’t just a fenced park that’s designed specifically for dogs. It includes city parks that have off-leash areas and hours (or seasons).

The City of Boise Web site shows that Boise has 13 dog parks and/or parks that offer off-leash options — two fewer than Public Land Center gives the city credit for. Boise parks officials said they didn’t talk to the group or provide them with any data.

Even with 13 dog parks, it appears the city still has the highest number of dog parks per capita in the country. And more are in the works — the 5.5-acre section of Ann Morrison Park known as Duck Island is going to be transformed into Dog Island, parks officials announced in February.

Two of the Treasure Valley’s largest developed dog parks are in Nampa and Meridian.

The 6-acre Amity Dog Park, which is at 2nd Street South and East Amity Avenue in Nampa, has separate fenced areas for large and small dogs, a giant swimming pond, walking trails, grassy areas, fountains, shade shelters and benches.

Meridian’s 2.25-acre Storey Bark Park is at 430 E. Watertower Lane. It has separate fenced areas for large and small dogs, paved walkways, agility equipment, fountains, tables, benches, and shade shelters.

Data show that the number of dog parks for the country’s largest cities has grown 40 percent since 2009. There are currently 774 dog parks within the 100 largest cities.

Here’s a list of Boise dog parks — and city parks that have dog off-leash times:

▪  Military Reserve, 750 N. Mountain Cove Road.

▪  Morris Hill Park, 10 N. Roosevelt St.

▪  Pine Grove Park, 8995 W. Shoup Dr.

▪  Sterling Park, 9851 W. Irving St.

▪  Ann Morrison Park, 1000 S. American Boulevard (winter only)

▪  Castle Hills Park, 5350 N. Eugene St.

▪  Cypress Park, 4382 S. Tableridge Way.

▪  Manitou Park, 2001 S. Manitou Ave.

▪  Optimist Youth Sports Complex (seasonally), 9889 W. Hill Road Parkway.

▪  Redwood Park, 2675 N. Shamrock St.

▪  Sunset Park, 2625 N. 32nd St.

▪  Williams Park, 201 W. Williams St.

▪  Winstead Park, 6150 W. Northview St.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller