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.


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     


A Walk in the Wetlands

Thursday, May 28, 9:30 a.m.

Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve, 6801 Engle Rd.

Join us for a walk and talk in the wetlands at Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve. 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 are 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 to register by May 21.

Wonderful Wildflower Walks

Enjoy the spring wildflowers along the Trail Of Reflection (1 mile), Oak Paradise (.75 mile) and Trillium Trail (.5 mile) in two separate wildflower hikes. These hikes offer a wide variety of beautiful wildflowers including Hepatica, Spring Beauty, Bloodroot, Jacobs Ladder, and of course the Trillium. On May 9, Doug Peconge of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma will be joining the hike and will discuss which wildflowers are edible and the ones used for medicine in his tribe. This program is free and no pre-registration is required.

Date      Day                        Time

4/18       Sa                           10-11 am

5/9         Sa                           10-11:30 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/FREE

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

City Nature Challenge!

Bioblitz Hike

Saturday, April 25, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Lindenwood Nature Preserve

600 Lindenwood Ave.

City Nature Challenge is a 4 day global bioblitz-style competition using the iNaturalist app, that aims to document the nature found in our urban areas, while engaging citizens in a fun community science project. Bioblitz challenge is April 24-27. Fort Wayne and surrounding counties will be participating alongside Indianapolis and South Bend in a friendly Indiana competition, as well as with hundreds of cities around the world! The hike is free and open to all ages. For more information check the Lindenwood Nature Preserve Facebook page.

Land Navigation

Learn how to use a map and compass with skill and leave this class feeling confident in any terrain or weather condition. Instructor Russ Kolkman is a survival expert known both locally and nationally. He has over 25 years of experience teaching people how to fight and survive in the most hostile environments in the world. Registration deadline: May 1. Min. 5. Max 10.

Code                     Date      Day                    Time

248106-S1            5/9         Sa           9 am-12 pm

# Sessions/fee: 1/$110

Location: Franke Park, 3411 Sherman Blvd.

Hands-On Wilderness Survival Course

A canoe trip on a fast river, an epic mountain bike ride or even just a simple hike in the woods can take an unexpected turn. A twisted ankle on a solo trip, a casualty in your group, getting lost or a rapid change in the weather can change a fun excursion into a serious situation. When you are prepared for these scenarios you will feel confident in venturing out and enjoying the peace and solitude of nature. This three-hour course will cover survival priorities and planning, search and rescue, austere medical treatment, shelter building, fire starting, signals, and finally, gear selection and review. You will learn by doing in this hands-on class. Instructor Russ Kolkman is a nationally known survival expert with over 25 years of experience teaching people how to survive in the most hostile environments in the world. Registration deadline: April 17. Min. 5. Max 10.

Code                     Date      Day                     Time

248105-S1            4/25       Sa           9 am-12 pm

# Sessions/fee: 1/$110

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Plein Air Painting Drop-In

Saturday, May 23, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave

Join us for this fun art event at Lindenwood Nature Preserve. Meet other art enthusiasts while you paint in the great outdoors! This program is in partnership with the Fort Wayne Artist Guild. Meet and discuss different techniques with members of this local guild. This event is free and open to all ages. No registration is required. Please bring your own canvas, paint and brushes. Please email eden.lamb or call 427-6008 for more information.

Parks on Tap!

Wednesday, May 20

— 6 pm Hike —

at Shoaff Park, 6401 St. Joe Rd.

— 7:30 pm Trivia —

at Corner Pocket Pub, 3215 St. Joe Center Rd.

Parks on Tap! is a competitive trivia event featuring local parks and pubs. Your team of 2-5 players (all team members must be 21+) will attend a guided hike in a local park where you will learn about one or all of the following: local plants, trees, wildlife, park history and pub facts before moving to a pub where the trivia competition will determine how closely you were paying attention on the hike. Prizes will be awarded and fun will be had! Get your team together and sign up today. When registering please list team members and team name. Registration code: 248310-W1. Fee: $15 per team. Min. 5 teams. Max. 12 teams.


Lindenwood Field Trips & Outings


Lindenwood Nature Preserve offers a variety of environmental education field trip opportunities varying from one to two hour programs. Our programs can accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers on our ADA compliant Trail of Reflection. For a complete list of programs, please visit Lindenwood’s page at 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 calling Eden at 427-6008 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 if you have questions. 

2020 Wild Walkers Schedule




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




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Information on upcoming events at Hurshtown will be available in early Summer!

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Enjoy some photos from previous events:

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NOW AVAILABLE!  Search for parks, trails, activities and more.

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