It’s a Doggy Dog World

The Ward Acres dog park in New Rochelle is an oasis for (wo)man and beast alike


In the dog days of summer, there’s no place better to retrieve, rove or roll over. Or beg. It is, according to New Rochelle Parks Commissioner Bill Zimmerman, the largest park of its kind in Westchester.

Anyone who reads theLoop (or watches the videos) knows how much we love all of Ward Acres for its history and beauty. But the dog park ("Paws Place") is not without its small controversies.


Ward Acres as a whole became frequented by dog walkers many years ago. A whole culture and significant litigation developed around this (read more  including a NY Times story ) canine playground.

Last June, the City ultimately created the 3.1 acre fenced-in Paws Place, and began charging a fee of $200 per dog per year to use it. This was seen as an effort to keep professional dog walkers and their charges out of the park.

Finally a more civilized permit structure was adopted: $50 per year for New Rochelle residents and $100 for non-residents per year for up to 4 dogs, after a lawsuit was settled last December.


Still, the fee cannot be pro-rated. If you buy a $100 permit today, you still have to pay $100 again in January when the new year begins.

Says Zimmerman, "Our argument is that we made a special accomodation for this park. You must buy a permit with an annual fee just like any other City permit. It’s just the way we are structured right now."




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