There has been a lot of talk about green space and the importance of not paving every square inch off a given area. While there is plenty to be said about limiting urban sprawl, it's nice to hear about cities and counties turning open areas into parks rather than simply leaving the place empty. The Alpine Dog Park in Ramsey, Minnesota isn't a fancy place. But it doesn't need to be fancy.
The dog park is a big, glorious chunk of prairie north of Minneapolis-Saint Paul. It's big, almost 10 acres, enough to have trails going through the park. About half of the park is irrigated and mowed grass. The rest of the park is open prairie grass and a small wooded glade. The park does have some amenities. For instance, it has water fountains for people just outside the park gate, and it has spigots and water fountains for dogs within the park.
In the mowed area, there are benches and enclosed shelters for people which are heated in the winter. There are also picnic tables inside the dog park. People are asked to not bring in any glass containers and not to provide dog food. The dog park is open year-round, so it's suggested that you make sure you and your dog have appropriate winter gear.
Because Alpine Dog Park is located between two baseball fields and a skate park, the park is well-lit and has excellent parking. It is also particularly safe and well-frequented. There is no small dog area, and because there's enough room for a dog to run really, people should think twice before bringing small dogs and sedentary dogs to Alpine park.
By all accounts, the people and dogs who frequent Alpine Dog Park are very friendly and sociable, but even the most friendly dog can be a hazard when excited. Of course, you know your dog better than anyone, so just be aware that your puppy will likely be running with the big dogs.