NorCal’s Pawsome Invention Has Shaped Neighborhoods Across the Nation
Dogs are widely considered man’s best friend, and it’s no wonder why. We’ve been sitting, staying, and rolling over together for roughly 16,000 years and, today, more than half of American households include dogs.
With such prevalent puppy love, it’s no wonder that dog owners across the country seek out the very best for their four-legged friends. Enter: the dog park. As it turns out, Northern California is actually behind this pawsome neighborhood feature. Here’s how the very first dog park came to be, and how these puppy playgrounds apply to your real estate practice.
Ohlone Dog Park
This strip of land in Berkeley, California is widely considered to be the very first dog park. Its designation dates back to 1979 when a group of residents decided that anything was pawsible and dedicated the space to their four-legged friends. The project began as an experiment, but Ohlone was finalized as an official dog park in 1983. To regulate and maintain the park, a non-profit called the Ohlone Dog Park Association, or ODPA (pronounced “odd paw”), was formed. Today, a memorial fire hydrant and sign honor some of the most prolific members who helped get the park off the ground and changed the nation in the process.
The Rise of Dog Parks
With Ohlone a success in Northern California, dog parks have been cropping up across the country for the past 40 years. Today, they are among the fastest-growing amenities in the nation’s 100 largest cities. In 2019, the number of dog parks in these cities reached 810, with 37 more designated year-over-year. Since 2009, there was a whopping 42% increase in dog parks. In 2019, San Francisco ranked fifth in number of dog parks, offering four dog parks per 100,000 residents.
Dog Parks and Real Estate
As it turns out, there’s much more to dog parks than just yapping. According to a recent Realtor.com survey, almost 95% of pet-owning homebuyers reported that they thought about their pets’ needs when choosing which home to buy. Knowing where your local dog park is can help steer clients to the right home and close the sale that much faster.
Amenities like dog parks can also increase home values. Particularly if you work in a market with very little green space, a clean and well-maintained dog park could be a major draw to potential buyers. While you’re at it, take a peek at local groomers, veterinarians, and boarders. Local organizations NorCal Pet Supply & Grooming or Groomers Direct NorCal may be good places to start. That 95% of pet-owning buyers is sure to wag with appreciation at your pet-focused local market expertise.