It's important that we all work together when visiting the park to make sure that our pups have a safe and enjoyable time. Below you will find some very important rules, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, as well as some suggestions for park etiquette.
If you encounter a questionable situation or incident at the park, or have a grievance, please report it to the board. If an altercation happens between dogs at the park, it's important to work together. Gather names and contact information. Also, ask for the names of witnesses.
Many avoidable situations/altercations at the park happen near the gate. Everyone needs to work together to create a safe environment for our dogs.
Do not enter or open the gate before dogs inside the park are pulled away from the gate. Pay attention to new visitors trying to enter the park when you are there. Restrain your dog and stagger their release so that new dogs are not overwhelmed by multiple dogs all at once.
BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE.
Visiting the park is a great opportunity to interact and bond with your dog. Your dog also depends upon you to advocate for them. You know your dog's quirks and fears. Dogs can't be expected to like every person, every dog and every situation. Pay attention to your dog and be prepared to step in before a situation escalates into something more unpleasant.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get a day pass or come visit the park before I fill out the application?
Our procedure only allows for registered members to enter NoMa Bark Park. This policy is for the health and safety of all who visit the park, and requires all dogs’ owners to submit required documentation before membership tags are issued. The regulation is in keeping with the requirements of the City of Columbia, which owns the land used by NoMa Bark Park as an off-leash area. Please try contacting one of the several other dog parks in the Columbia area. It’s possible one of those facilities does allow for day passes.
Why do I have to pay to register?
NoMa Bark Park is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to operating and maintaining the off-leash dog park within Earlewood Park. Membership fees are set at a rate to simply cover the costs of keeping the Bark Park running. The price for membership is $25 per dog, annually.
Why do you need all this paperwork?
Submitting the required documentation with your application helps ensure that all dogs entering the Bark Park are healthy and up-to-date on shots. In the rare event that an aggressive incident were to occur, it’s important that there be records indicating all dogs involved have received necessary vaccinations. This policy is in keeping with the requirements of the City of Columbia, which owns the land used by NoMa Bark Park as an off-leash dog park.
Why can’t children enter the Bark Park?
As the Bark Park was being established, this policy was a primary concern of the City of Columbia when discussing the use of their land in Earlewood Park as a dog park. The Bark Park Board understands that many dogs are great with children and many children are wonderful with dogs, but having young kids in an enclosure with dogs off-leash could pose a safety risk. Founding members of the NoMa Bark Park Committee agreed to the Minimum Age Regulation required by the City of Columbia – and current Board members enforce this policy – so many dogs and their people can enjoy this wonderful space.
What if I see someone break the Bark Park Rules?
NoMa Bark Park Board encourages owners to resolve issues that arise at the Park amongst themselves. If you see someone who forgets the rules (i.e., forgets to pick up poop) politely introduce yourself, remind them of the rule, and thank them when they comply with the rule.
If a dialogue between owners is unsuccessful or if a person or dog is injured at the Park, the owners involved should submit a complaint to the Bark Park Board by emailing the Board Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I do if I see aggressive activity from a dog(s) at the Bark Park?
File an Incident Report located on our Grievance page. Please use this form to record and report any aggressive activity by a canine member that could endanger the health and/or safety of any dog or person entering the dog park. Responses will be forwarded to the Board Chair and Membership Coordinator.
What do I do if I have ideas for Bark Park improvements?
The Bark Park Board, the group in charge of keeping NoMa Bark Park running, is comprised of several dedicated, dog-loving volunteers. The board meets often throughout the year to discuss Bark Park matters and is open to hearing from all Bark Park members. Ideas and concerns can be submitted via email to the Board Chair at email@example.com. Questions include if you are interested in volunteering or joining the Board, to request items or supplies for the park, or to report a needed repair.
Why must my dog be spayed or neutered?
What are these large red plastic squares?
These are dividers that are meant for herding livestock. They are there at the park to help break up dog aggression or dog fights. They also help to redirect dogs who fixate on another dog.