Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Please Unleash Me: Harrisburg’s first dog park set to open.

Harrisburg’s first public dog park is built and about to open its gates.

Calling all poodles, labs and greyhounds

All purebreds and mutts.

All canines, large and small.

For the first time, Harrisburg has a legal place for you to walk, scamper and romp untethered.

This Monday, Friends of Midtown and city officials will inaugurate Harrisburg’s first public dog park with a ribbon-cutting on the site at N. 7th and Granite streets.

The opening will culminate years of work by Friends of Midtown to raise funds for the park, then build it.

“We are so grateful for the generous donations and efforts of Harrisburg residents, businesses and community organizations to make this park come to life,” said Annie Hughes, who, along with husband Andy, headed up the dog park task force.

The couple began the project about two years ago after moving to Midtown and wanting more space for their energetic dog to run off-leash. They approached Friends of Midtown, which encouraged them to pursue the idea.

Developer Vartan Group agreed to donate an empty plot of land, and the task force began raising the funds needed to build the park and run it for two years. More than $9,000 was raised from people, businesses and community organizations to get the park up and running. However, an additional $5,000 is required to maintain operations over two years, so fundraising continues.

For the past several weekends, volunteers have worked to fence off the ½-acre site, install signs and otherwise prepare for the grand opening and the arrival of dogs and their owners.

“This dream has been more than two years in the making and has been realized by the incredible and determined efforts of Annie and Andy Hughes. They have been leading the charge the entire time,” said Kate Moyer, Friends of Midtown president. “Friends of Midtown is thrilled to have been a part of bringing this much needed and oft-requested amenity to the City of Harrisburg.”

The Midtown dog park is considered to be a pilot project and expected to be in place for two years. The city plans to use data from the pilot to construct a permanent public dog park. A dog park is included as part of its Reservoir Park Master Plan improvements.

The dog park, which is free to use, will be open dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

The Friends of Midtown Community Dog Park is located at 1730 N. 7th St., Harrisburg. It will officially open on Monday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Dog bandanas and travel dog bowls, donated by Mid Penn Bank, will be given to the first 30 or so dogs.

To make a donation, please visit

A full list of dog park rules & regulations is available on the Facebook page:

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