Valmont Dog Park

Let the dog party begin |

My companion Dill is really itching for a workout – you know that feeling. She doesn’t want to just hop on a treadmill, though – she wants to socialize, too. So, on a beautiful winter morning, we head to one of the City of Boulder’s awesome parks. She quickly makes new friends: Murphy, May, Finn, Skipper, Consuela (wouldn’t you want to hang out with that crowd?). They all get busy running, leaping, and twisting, pausing to hydrate at regular intervals. There’s also wrestling, rolling, sniffing, and what might politely be called “dominating.” Even if the title of the post didn’t give it away, by now you’ve figured out that Dill is my 2-year-old Border Collie mix and we’re cutting loose at her favorite spot, the Valmont Dog Park.

Dil reports that it's fun, but tiring, to play off leash at the Valmont Dog Park

Dil reports that it’s fun, but tiring, to play off leash at the Valmont Dog Park

If you don’t have a dog, you should get one so you have an excuse to hang out at the Valmont Dog Park, three beautifully landscaped acres within Valmont City Park next to the bike area where USA Cycling recently hosted the Cyclo-cross National Championships. Boulder Parks and Recreation renovated the dog park in 2012 with the fun and comfort of dogs and humans alike taken into creative consideration. There are fenced-off groves of shrubs and young trees, big rocks, shelters and benches, a grassy paddock, water pumps, and even a fire hydrant. Dog park regulars were consulted when the City planned the redesign, and at their urging a row of huge Plains Cottonwoods were left at the south end of the park, providing welcome shade in the summer.

Another cool thing about the Valmont Dog Park: it’s the only one in the country that offers fully-compostable dog waste bags. Boulder partners with EnviroWagg of Aurora, which collects the waste and “upcycles” it into compost and potting soil mixtures. Is this a preview of the future when it comes to getting rid of dog poop? Hope so. Meanwhile, enjoy the convenience and leave your plastic bags at home when you visit the VDP.

Dill’s bountiful energy makes the dog park a good choice any day of the year. One mild Sunday afternoon last spring I counted upwards of sixty dogs romping with nary a conflict (the humans behaved well, too). It’s mellower in January, but as always there’s an affable vibe. While Dill tears around like a mad thing, I enjoy the sunshine with my coffee and chat with a fellow dog guardian about how she rescued her wire-haired terrier, Skipper. The snow-dappled foothills form a stunning backdrop. It’s a great start to the day.

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