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This park is ‘going to the dogs’

A growing community of dog owners are discovering the dog park in New Richmond. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)1 / 7
When the pack gets too tall, Zoey takes to the bench for a better perspective. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)2 / 7
Benches scattered throughout the park allow owners to sit while pack members continue to play. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)3 / 7
Dogs of all sizes, shapes and breeds tend to figure things out for themselves at the park. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)4 / 7
A pack figures things out while a pack of owners looks on. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)5 / 7
Experienced owners know to watch out for their kneecaps when the pack is circling. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)6 / 7
The city keeps a series of walking paths cut throughout the park for packs and their people to make full use of the park. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)7 / 7

If you are looking for a place to let Fido cut it loose over the holidays, maybe run off some of those extra table scraps and cookies, check out the New Richmond Dog Park.

Located just west of the brand new St. Croix County Health Center, the 11-acre park, located on the site of a former landfill, is one of the best kept secrets in the area.

On any given morning or evening, you are likely to run into fury possies with names like Gypsy, Sterling, Luna, Zoey, Anakin, Kylo, Milo, Percy, Beau, Indy, Lexi, Bandit, Sosa, Lily, and Henry.

If you are new to the park, don’t be offended if people remember your dog’s name more often than your name. After all it’s all about the dogs.

The park officially opened in July 2013 providing New Richmond dog lovers with a long overdue and much-anticipated resource, a resource which is now the envy of many surrounding communities.

The 11 acres are entirely fenced in, allowing dogs to run freely off-leash. The park is divided into two sections, a smaller section allows folks with dogs who don’t socialize well or who, for other reasons (training, injured, etc.), want to keep their dogs separate from the free-ranging packs speeding around the larger portion of the park. A small covered pavilion provides picnic table seating and shelter from the sun and rain and also has a collection of water bowls and plastic jugs of water to refuel pack members between adventures.

The city keeps the park mowed and the parking lot graded and plowed in the winter. Rules explaining park expectations, including picking up after Fido, are clearly displayed in the parking lot. Plastic bags are available throughout the park for pick up and trash barrels for disposal.

A yearly membership costs $15 per-household and is good for up to three dogs. Dog owners can also use the park for a daily fee of $3. Dogs are required to be up-to-date with their vaccinations and must be at least five months old. Handlers must be at least at least 16 years old and children must be supervised by an adult. All of the fees collected go toward upkeep and maintenance of the park. According to city records, the park takes in about $100-$150 per-month in daily fees and has about 130 registered annual members.

If you are looking to introduce Fido to the neighborhood pack, weekday mornings before work or evenings right after work, and weekends early- to mid-morning and later afternoon to dusk tend to have the larger packs. Pack a leash (required to walk your dog from your vehicle to the park entrance), bring some treats, and prepare to have a great time. Fido will be forever in your debt and you won’t be able to stop smiling.

Two warnings, your dog will become addicted to this trip and, watch your knees, speeding packs have no respect for human knees. If you are contemplating getting a dog, the park is a great place to meet different breeds and ask owners questions first hand.

To see the complete rules for the park and/or apply for membership, visit