The Case of the Scandalous Dog Park Fees

How much would you pay for a place where your dog can run free?

Residents of Brookline, MA may soon have to decide. The city has proposed charging yearly fees ranging from $50 (for city residents) to $750 (for dog-walkers who live outside city limits). Predictably, this has current users of the dog parks incensed (as the comments section on the article reveal). One woman is quoted in the article, "(Dog parks are) one of the reasons we moved to Brookline." 

This sounds like a great opportunity for a local Brookline company to demonstrate its community spirit and sponsor some (or all) of these dog parks. Just imagine a sign at each park along the lines of: 

"Dog Park Fee: $50/year Still Free! 

Brought to you by Joe's Pet Supply Store!" 

I'd have to think this would generate some goodwill in an otherwise unfortunate situation. What are your thoughts on city parks charging use fees? 

How much would you pay for use of a dog park? And what if they rolled out usage fees for children?!

By the way, you can always find great dog parks that are still free at, from Newton, MA to Scottsdale, AZ, and from Austin, TX to Santa Fe, NM!

Dog Park Fees

Although free is always better, if fees are used to improve the dog parks, then a modest fee may be understandable. A fee in the hundreds of dollars is obviously intended to discourage use and exclude certain groups. And, if dog owners are expected to pay fees, then other users should pay fees as well. Oh, that's right -- we already do. It's called taxes. Hmmm.