In Charlottesville, you will find the University of Virginia, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson. As you would expect from a college town, Charlottesville has a vibrant music scene, a thriving football team, and plenty of bars and coffee houses. There's also a vibrant art community, a film festival, and the Judge Advocate Legal Center and School, where all military lawyers train. Contrary to the black eye Charlottesville received from the protests last summer, this is actually a progressive little city. A great example can be found at Azalea Park.
Azalea Park is twenty-three acres of mostly flat land bordering on Moores Creek. After purchasing the land, the city spent $1,000,000 on improvements, such as a lighted baseball diamond with concession stands, a new playground, and garden plots that can be rented by residents. But it's the dog park that really shows the city's forward thinking.
The Azalea Dog Park is a nicely sized, well-fenced area. There is a separate section for small dogs. The dog park has plenty of poop bags and benches and each section of the dog park has a picnic table. The dog park is in a grassy area, so, depending on the time of year and the weather, your dog may end up quite dirty, either with mud or dust. The dog park is well maintained by both city employees and volunteers.
So it's nice that the city purchased this land and turned it into a park, but how is that progressive? Well, what's progressive are the efforts the city has put into using the park to help the environment. Along with all of the efforts put in to remodel the park, the city created a new wetland to accommodate storm water run off, which helps prevent flooding and water pollution. In addition to this, they also created a methane digester specifically to handle the dog waste from the park. Now, instead of ending up in a landfill, or worse, the water way, your animal's waste will be broken down safely and with minimal environmental impact.
In Azalea Park, you will find plenty of trails to explore with your dog, but she will need to be leashed. Of course, there is also the nice off-leash dog park for her to enjoy with her puppy pals. They may not appreciate that the efforts to keep the environment safe, but you will.