Community Dog Park is one of two dog parks operated by Northville, Michigan, a small city (6,000 residents) 21 miles northeast of Ann Arbor and 29 miles northwest of Detroit. The Community Park is a 4-acre park open seven days a week from 7:00 AM until 9:00 PM (or dusk – whichever is earlier) that is found at the Five Mile Road entrance, just west of Beck.
Its rival, the Cady Street Dog Park, which is found behind the Northville Art House at 215 West Cady Street, is a much smaller area at 0.7-acres in size that has also allowed off-leash activity. However, the Cady Street Park has a limit of 15 dogs at one time. The dog park section of Community Park is part of a well-established city park that is among a Northville showpiece.
It has 15 soccer fields scattered, almost randomly, around the sprawling park. It has many drinking fountains, places to have a barbecue, picnic tables, and walking paths. There are some woody areas with both evergreens and leafy trees. There are also three baseball diamonds, officially numbered 5, 6, and 7, indicating the city has four other diamonds tucked into the landscape somewhere.
The Community Dog Park on the map is an odd-shaped oval, like a circle drawn by someone with their eyes closed. It sits next to a similar amoeba-shaped open space. The smaller of the two is for small dogs, while the larger is for big dogs, however, visitors will run into three sections at the park. The third section is a rotating section cordoned off to allow the grass to rejuvenate.
Northville has more extensive than usual requirements for use of the dog parks. You are first required to watch a video online and then pass a nine-question test, like applying for your driver's permit. It is easy but required. In addition, you must visit the city hall with papers that prove your dog has been licensed and vaccinated. There is also a fee of $30 per season for residents and $60 for non-residents per park.
If you want a “combination permit” which allows access to both parks, the fee is $40 for Northville residents and $80 for out-of-towners. Extra dogs – up to three are allowed – are also charged at a rate of $12 per dog. When you are given access to the park, you sign a document saying you will agree to the rules. Then you are given an electronic key that allows you to enter the parks.