About the Park

Milpitas, Ca – Santa Clara County Park

Science Spotlight: Dogs & Parks

If you’ve been hiking around the Bay Area, you know that it’s usually a toss-up as to whether or not dogs are allowed at the park. Ed R. Levin County Park is special, as it allows dogs and has an off-leash dog park. However, not all California parks are that permissive.

Why put such heavy restrictions on allowing our four-legged friends accompany us on our walks? As fun as it is to have your furry companion on the trail, restricting pets from parks is meant to protect wildlife and protect your dog.

Dogs, especially when off-leash at parks, are in an area with many other wild animals. In some cases, this can lead to unexpected altercations between dogs and wildlife. Thus, keeping dogs off trails is a way to protect them from harmful interactions such as these.

Beyond that, dogs can also pose a threat to wildlife at the park you’re exploring. Many dogs are curious, and will excitedly greet any new acquaintances made on the trail. However, some species, such as the Western snowy plover, are extremely stressed by events such as these. Snowy plovers are already facing steep population declines from habitat loss and disturbance, so protecting their populations from any sort of stress is critical.

So, next time you want to take your dog along, be sure to check out our list of dog-friendly areas – and know that the restrictions are enforced with good reason.

Visit the Park

Please note that there is a $6 vehicle fee to enter the park. Dogs are allowed on leashes.

Here are some helpful resources to help plan your visit:

Gallery

Posted by Taylor Crisologo

Taylor studied biology at Cornell University, where she worked with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on projects ranging from breeding herring gulls off the coast of Maine to dancing lyrebirds in Australia’s Blue Mountains. When she’s not researching great places to experience Bay Area nature, you can find her birding or reading a book at home with her fiancé Dan and their two cats (Max and Penelope).

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