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Guidelines for our Dog Playgrounds
Recommendations for Fun and Safety

Both Pawster Pooch Playground and Camp Canine are open from 6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. daily.  The maximum number of dogs in the playgrounds at any given time is 50. Please limit your visit to one hour during times of peak use.

  • All dogs must have their "Pass" visibly displayed on their collar while inside the playground.
  • Rabies tags must be worn and displayed by all dogs at all times
  • Always keep an eye on your dog. Never leave your dog unattended.
  • Dogs known to exhibit vicious, fierce, aggressive, or dangerous behavior are not permitted in the Dog Playgrounds. If your dog becomes unruly or aggressive toward other dogs, you must leash your dog and exit the enclosure.
  • Always clean up after your dog. It's the law. A container is available in the park for this purpose. Please bring your own bags.
  • Female dogs in season are not permitted in the playground and should not be brought to the park.
  • Dogs, owners, and users creating a disturbance or violating posted rules must leave the playground if requested by law enforcement personnel, park personnel, or their designated agents.
  • Don't bring more than three dogs to the playground.
  • Dogs under four (4) months of age are not permitted in the playground. Puppies are not fully vaccinated, and are vulnerable to disease and injury.
  • Children under fourteen (14) years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Dogs may not be left unattended or out of sight range or voice command.
  • Dogs must be on a 6' leash until safely inside the playground enclosure (corral). It's the law.
  • Please remove pinch (prong) collars and spike collars from dogs before entering the park. Other dogs can be injured while playing.
  • No wolves or wolf hybrids allowed.
  • Do not bring glass containers to the facility.
  • Do not bring food (people food, dog food or dog treats) into the playground. Many owners do not feed treats and some dogs may be allergic. Food may also make a docile dog aggressive.
  • Do not smoke in or around the playground. Cigarette butts and food wrappers are unhealthy for dogs.
  • Maintenance needs of the site will vary based on weather and use. You are asked to vacate the playground during maintenance activities.
  • Check all entrances before unleashing your dog.
  • Dogs should receive year-round heartworm prevention treatment.
  • Have drinking water readily available for your dog before and especially after exercise.  You must provide your own water and bowls.
  • ALL dogs benefit from guidance and structure.  Basic obedience is a must for a well-socialized happy dog.
  • Do not open the outside gate if an inside gate is open.


Be Aware of Risks

While it may be tempting to stand back and be a passive observer, all users will have a much more rewarding experience if basic rules are actively observed. Use of the Dog Playground is not a right - it is a privilege. Please do not allow unacceptable or irresponsible behavior to ruin the fun for other users.

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation strives to provide a fun, safe environment for you and your dog. However, by using this facility you agree that you understand and assume all responsibility and liability for the risks of unleashing your dog in the facility.

Potential risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Infectious diseases such as rabies, kennel cough or Lyme disease.
  • Dog theft or unlawful capture by other people.
  • Dog escapes over or under fences.
  • Plants and/or water sources in the park that may be poisonous to dogs.
  • Park vegetation that may have burrs or seeds that could get tangled in a dog's coat or lodge in a dog's feet, ears, or eyes.
  • Mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas or other insects that may be present.
  • Dog fights, dog bites and injuries to humans and other dogs.
  • Wild animals in the parks such as skunks, raccoons, or stray dogs, all of which might injure or infect your dog.
  • Young children are easily knocked over or trampled by running dogs.
  • Herding dogs may nip at children while attempting to round them up.
  • This is the dog's park. There are plenty of other parks and playgrounds where children can be socialized. Not all dogs are child-friendly. Never allow your child to approach or pet a dog without the owner's presence and approval.
  • Parents: If you do bring your children into the Dog Playground, please teach them how to behave with animals and what to do in an emergency:

Never run! Hide face. Tuck arms and legs into body. Curl up in a ball, face down on hands and knees. Be as still and quiet as possible. Wait for help or until the dog has left.

In order for the bite to be defined as a bite - it must break the skin and must have been caused by oral contact (not a nail scratch).

A dog bite to a human or another animal must be reported. The biting animal will be quarantined for ten days to ensure it is healthy and does not pose a rabies risk. In this case, the bite most likely happened inside the confines of the Dog Playground so the dog will be considered legally restrained at the time of the bite. If a dog bite happens while at the park:

  • Immediately secure the biting dog and the victim dog. Leash them and keep separated.
  • Any wounds should be washed immediately with clean water.
  • Owners of dogs involved should exchange names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
  • Owners should then take their dog home or to a veterinarian for necessary medical care. If a bite has occurred to a person, consult a physician.
  • If the biting dog's owner lives inside the city limits of Fort Wayne they should call to dispatch an Animal Control Officer to take a bite report and enact quarantine.

    Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control: 427-1244
    On weekends and holidays call: 427-1222

  • If the biting dog's owner lives in Allen County outside the city limits, call:

Allen County Sheriff's Animal Control at 449-7491

  • Dogs who have bitten while at the Dog Playgrounds will not be allowed to return.

**Dog Playgrounds are not staffed or supervised by any agent or employee of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department or the City of Fort Wayne. Users therefore are required to abide by posted rules and etiquette at all times while on the premises. Police and Animal Control Officers will make periodic site visits.**

Dog owners and individuals accompanying them use the facility entirely at their own risk and that of their dogs.  Owners are responsible and liable for the actions and behavior of their dogs at all times.  Neither Parks and Recreation nor the City of Fort Wayne assumes liability for loss, damage, or any kind of injury sustained by any human or dog while using the Dog Playground.

It is important to familiarize yourself with pertinent City Ordinances that apply to this playground as well as parks and park facilities in general.  Visit our Park Ordinances  page for more information.

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Photo courtesy of Denny Beck

Lindenwood Nature Preserve protects a piece of Fort Wayne’s natural woodland habitat in an undisturbed manner. Please abide by these simple rules when visiting the preserve:

  • No collecting. This includes plants, animals, leaves, feathers, rocks, nuts, mushrooms, etc.
  • Remain on the marked trails when exploring the preserve.
  • No littering; Carry out what you carry in.
  • No camping, fires, hunting, trapping, fishing or digging.
  • No pets.
  • No bikes or motorized vehicles.

Stewards of the Woods

The volunteer opportunities at Lindenwood Nature Preserve are endless. Our Stewards of the Woods act as trail guides (training provided), desk attendants, wildlife observers, water quality monitors and more. Volunteers of all ages are invited to become Stewards. Call Eden Lamb 260-427-6008 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.   

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Reservoir Guidelines

Please Do:

remove your trash.
carry one life jacket per person in all boats at all times.
tilt up gasoline motors from your boat before launching.
be courteous to others.
have a good time!

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Please Don't:

swim in the reservoir.
bring alcoholic beverages into the reservoir.
bring pets unless they are on a leash.
use gasoline powered motors.
lose rental tickets (the daily fee will be charged).
exceed your rental time (any fraction of an hour will be charged a full hour).
overload rental boats (limit 3 persons per boat).
remove or disturb large rocks on bank - they are for ice control. clean fish on the premises.
disturb wildlife such as snakes, ducks, birds

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Upcoming Events of Interest to Nature Lovers     

Summer Programs

Wild Eats Hike: Wild Edibles

If you had to forage for food in the wilderness, would you be able to distinguish between those plants that are safe to eat and those that are not? In this fun and informative field class you will learn how to identify wild edibles while passing up the poisonous mushrooms and berries. The program is free, however, registration is required and space is limited. Registration deadline: July 13. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Code                    Date       Day                      Time

348116-S1            7/18       Sa           10 am-12 pm

# Sessions/Fee: Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Full Moon Hikes

There’s nothing like hiking under a full moon. Join us for a special moonlit adventure and experience nature in a completely different perspective. We’ll meet in the parking lot at the entrance to the preserve and hike the Trail of Reflection for a scenic stop at the pond. This ½-mile trail is fully wheelchair and stroller accessible to the pond, although ground conditions may vary. Each hike will last approximately one hour. Youth hikes are for ages 17 and under with an adult. The adult hikes are for those 18 and older. The hikes are free, however, pre-registration is required. Please note that pets are not allowed in the nature preserve. Registration deadlines: June 1, July 1, July 27. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Code                    Date      Day                Time

Strawberry Moon Hike – Youth

348000-F1            6/5         F                  8 pm

Strawberry Moon Hike – Adult

348000-F2            6/5         F             9:15 pm

Buck Moon Hike – Youth

348000-S1            7/5         Su              8 pm

Buck Moon Hike – Adult

348000-S2            7/5         Su         9:15 pm

Sturgeon Moon Hike – Adult

348000-M1          8/3         M                9 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Saturday Morning Hikes

Join the Lindenwood naturalist for a fun and informative Saturday morning hike through the woods. Pick your day to learn about amphibians and reptiles, invasive plants or native birds. We’ll meet in the parking lot and head for the trail promptly at the scheduled time. Guided hikes are free and open to all ages. We’ll hike the Trail of Reflection which is wheelchair and stroller accessible from the trailhead to the pond. Registration deadlines are 5 working days prior to each hike. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Code                     Date      Day              Time

Amphibians & Reptiles

348002-S1            6/27       Sa           9-10 am

348002-S2            6/27       Sa           10-11 am

Indiana Invasives

348002-S3            7/25       Sa           8-9 am

348002-S4            7/25       Sa           10-11 am

Feathered Friends

348002-S5            8/22       Sa           8-9 am

348002-S6            8/22       Sa           10-11 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

A Walk in the Wetlands

Thursday, August 27, 9:30 a.m.

Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve, 6801 Engle Rd.

Join us for a talk and walk in the wetlands. We will meet at the Eagle Marsh trailhead and learn about how this large urban wetland is helping our community’s quality of life. Wetlands not only provide cleaner water, but also a great place to experience and photograph wildlife. After the talk, join the group for a short guided walk down the paved multi-use Towpath Trail. Please dress for the weather and possible wet conditions at the marsh. This activity is free; however, you will need to call 427-6460 by August 20 to register.

Rhythm of the Woods

What better place to enjoy acoustic music than the peaceful setting of Lindenwood Nature Preserve? Join us on the Sassafras Trail to listen or perform. It’s FREE! If you would like to perform, please contact Eden at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 427-6008. Registration deadline: June 8. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Code                     Date      Day            TIme

348003-S1            6/13       Sa           3-5 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Lindenwood Field Trips & Outings

600 Lindenwood Ave.

July 4-October 31

Let us plan a nature outing for your class or group. Lindenwood Nature Preserve offers a variety of hands-on environmental education field trip opportunities. Our programs can accommodate wheelchairs, strollers and walkers on our ADA compliant Trail of Reflection. For a complete list of programs/topics, please visit the Lindenwood page at fortwayneparks.org. The cost is $2/participant/ hour; a minimum fee of $20/$40 will be charged for 1-hour/2-hour programs, respectively. Teachers, caregivers, and adult chaperones are free of charge. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance by contacting Eden at 427-6008 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lindenwood Nature Adventure

*Adult/Child

Lindenwood Nature Camp is designed to introduce your child to nature through outdoor play and exploration. They will go on hikes, learn about the plants and animals that live in the nature preserve and play with dirt, leaves, sticks and seeds to learn about the world around them and connect with the great outdoors. The camp is limited to 10 curious children so each child can benefit from personalized attention. For more information, contact Eden Lamb at 427-6008 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Ages 4-7. Registration deadline: June 8. Min. 5. Max. 10.

Code                    Dates                 Days                                 Time

348103-M1          6/22-6/24            M, T, W                10 am-12 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 3/$30

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Youth Hike and Pond Study Adventure

*Adult/Child

Plan to get wet and dirty in this hands-on investigation of Lindenwood’s pond! You will learn to read water samples, test pH levels and capture and release aquatic life. You will be wading in the water, so long boots and pants are recommended in addition to sunscreen and insect repellent. Ages 6-11. Registration deadline: July 3. Min. 5. Max. 15.

Code                     Date      Day                    Time

348106-S2            7/11       Sa           10-11:30 am

# Session/Fee: 1/$5

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Nature Story Time

*Adult/Child

Join the naturalist for a story and short hike along Trillium Trail. Search for beautiful wildflowers that adorn this path during the spring and summer. The program is free, however, pre-registration is required and space is limited. Ages 10 and under. Registration deadlines: June 22, July 13, August 17. Min. 5. Max. 15.

Code                     Date      Day            Time

348114-S1            6/28       Su           1-2 pm

348114-S2            7/19       Su           1-2 pm

348114-S3            8/23       Su           1-2 pm

Fee: FREE

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve,600 Lindenwood Ave.

Daddy Day Hike

Saturday, June 20, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

We’re celebrating fathers at Lindenwood Nature Preserve! Kids – bring your dad to the preserve for a guided hike and some quality time together. All ages are welcome and it’s free. The preserve is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Register by June 15. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Code                     Dates    Day                 Time

348001-S1            6/20       Sa           10-11 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Wild Walkers Pokagon Group Shot
Wild Walkers pose for a group picture at Pokagon State Park.  Photo credit: Steve Hague

Wild Walkers 2020 

Wild Walkers is an adult hiking group that meets the second and fourth Fridays of each month for a walk on the wild side. Each hike features a different natural area in the region (parks, wetlands, nature preserve, etc.) and carpooling is available when necessary. Please call Eden at 427-6008 or e-mail eden.lamb@cityof fortwayne.org if you have questions. 

2020 Wild Walkers Schedule

 

 

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 For additional ways to "Plug-In To Nature" check out the following link:

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32nd Annual

Kids’ Fishing Derby

Saturday, June 6, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Hurshtown Reservoir, 16000 Roth Rd., Grabill IN

Fishing is a favorite Hoosier pastime that fosters patience, coordination and an appreciation for nature! Please join us for the 32nd Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby at the pristine Hurshtown Reservoir. The derby is open to children ages 16 and younger. An adult must accompany all contestants. Prizes will be awarded for the biggest fish caught in 4 age categories. Each participant may enter only one fish. The grand prize will go to the child that catches the biggest fish overall. On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Fishing begins at 8:00 a.m. and continues until the weigh-in at 11:00. Awards will be at 12:00 p.m. Contestants must be present to win. Contestants should bring their own bait, tackle and bucket to hold their fish. Because this is a free fishing day, no fishing licenses are required! This contest is catch and release only. Please call or e-mail Eden at 427-6008 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. Admission to Hurshtown is $4 per car. The derby is FREE.

PLEASE NOTE: To comply with state requirements due to COVID-19, only the first 100 visitors will be permitted, then the reservoir gates will be closed.

 

Indiana Free Fishing Days

in Fort Wayne Parks

Indiana’s free fishing days are June 6-7 and September 26. Indiana residents do not need a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp to fish the state’s public waters on those days. Enjoy fishing at Salomon Farm Park, Hurshtown Reservoir, Shoaff Park, Johnny Appleseed, Franke, Guldlin or Headwaters Park. Check out Salomon Farm Park for special youth fishing events and mark your calendar for Hurshtown Reservoir’s June 6 Family Fishing Derby!

 

 

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Enjoy some photos from previous events:

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Upcoming Events

32nd Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby
6 Jun 2020   8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Salomon Farmers’ Market
10 Jun 2020   4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Present Tense Future Calm
14 Jun 2020  12:00 pm -
Trek the Trails
16 Jun 2020   6:10 pm -
Trek the Trails
23 Jun 2020   6:10 pm -

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Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department  705 E. State Blvd.   Fort Wayne, IN 46805  (260) 427-6000 • Office hours: Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm  parkswebmaster@cityoffortwayne.org