August 24, 2020 /
Jona Elwell

Canopy Cover at Dog Parks in DC

Wednesday is National Dog Day and we’re celebrating by looking at what we love and know best – trees (wink wink). While we often talk about canopy cover by neighborhood, ward, income level, racial make-up, or even by parks, this week we’re turning to canines!

Using GIS data, we mapped city-owned dog parks to see which dog park has the highest canopy coverage – to keep you and Fido nice and cool while you play. Here they are, in order of least to most tree canopy cover. Anything surprising you?

  1. Swampoodle Dog Park | 3rd and L St NE | 0% Canopy Cover

Kicking it off is the newest dog park in DC, which unfortunately and unsurprising has the lowest level of canopy. And by that we mean it has no canopy.

  1. Shaw Dog Park | 11th and Rhode Island Ave NW | 12% Canopy Cover

A hotbed of excitement next to the skate park and alongside Rhode Island Ave, this dog park was beloved by residents, although it’s currently closed. Considering the construction at nearby XX, it’s safe to say that this canopy cover level of 12% will change drastically in the future – by hopefully increasing!

  1. The Park at LeDroit | 286 V Street NW | 16.3% Canopy Cover

LeDroit Park has something for everyone, including dogs! This historic area boasts a dog park with modest canopy cover that we helped add to in 2019 and 2018.

  1. Chevy Chase Dog Park | 41st and Livingston St NW | Upshur Dog Park | 4300 Arkansas Ave NW | Kingman Field Dog Park 1332 D St NE | 32% Canopy Cover

A three-way tie among dog parks spread apart throughout the city – Chevy Chase in upper northwest, Petworth, still in northwest but closer to North Cap, and Kingman field in the northeast near our beloved Anacostia River. Each of these three parks has about a third of their space covered by canopy. Perhaps this may change in the future though – Upshur Rec, where the Upshur Dog Park is located, was the site of a Community Tree Planting in 2019, and a Park Inventory in 2017!

  1. S Street Park | 17th and S St NW | 33.3% Canopy Cover

Street trees and other park trees cover a third of the space in this midcity pocket park that features a place for pooches to play.

  1. Guy Mason Dog Park | 3600 Calvert St NW | 34.2% Canopy Cover

Rounding out the top five is one of the many dog parks that is part of a larger Recreation Center, Guy Mason dog park is a canine complement to the baseball field and playground. 

  1. Lansburgh Dog Park | 95 M St SW | 37.9% Canopy Cover

Lansburgh dog park and one of the only city dog parks in the southern quadrants in the District. It’s also connected to a Rec Center and thankfully the green space provides interconnected metal-domed pavilions, a stage, seating areas & shade trees. We added to the canopy there in 2017, 2015 and 2014 and inventoried all the park’s trees in 2016.

  1. Francis Dog Park | 25th and M St NW | Walter Pierce Dog Park | Biltmore and Calvert St NW | 41% Canopy Cover

At the number 3 spot, we finally cracked the city’s 40 percent canopy goal! Francis Dog Park, a West End hidden gem, was a planting site for us in 2017 – Mayor Bowser even inducted our newest cohort of Team Leaders! Walter Pierce Park is a popular spot in Adams Morgan for both picnics and pooches. 

Both of these beloved parks bump up to Rock Creek, so the trees do more than provide shade to humans and their puppy pals. They also help absorb stormwater and help decrease the amount of polluted runoff that flows into our city’s waterways.

  1. Newark St Dog Park | 39th and Newark St NW | 49% Canopy Cover

So close and yet so far to the top spot! The Newark Street dog park shares trees and space with a playground and is also adjacent to Rock Creek Park. River birches and redbuds dot this Cathedral Heights park that is practically half-covered by canopy.

  1. Langdon Dog Park | 2815 20th St NE | 49.7% Canopy Cover

Squeaking in at the number one is the park closest to our Brookland HQ and the site of many a Community Tree Planting. Langdon Park is a sprawling complex in Northeast and the dog park is one of many amenities including playgrounds, a community garden, and a pool! The pool isn’t the only way to cool off those, dogs and people stay shaded thanks to the 49.7% canopy cover at this park.

There you have it! Bummed to see your local park didn’t fare as well as you’d hoped? Become a Casey Trees member and support our work re-treeing city parks year-round while staying safe. Curious to visit one of these? We’d love to hear about it in our August Parks Challenge.