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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


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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.
  • No camping. 

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      

 

Spring Hikes

Mom and Me Hike and Craft

Bring your mom out for a special hike and nature craft to celebrate her this Mother’s Day. Our hike will depart from the parking lot and our craft project will be waiting for us after our walk in the woods. All ages are welcome. Pre-registration is required for planning purposes. Call 427-6000 by May 1 to sign up..

Code               Date              Day                       Time
248107-A1      5/8                Su                   10-11 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$3

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

 

Hikes in English and Español

Join us for a guided hike at Lindenwood this spring and experience a fun exploration of nature and it’s beauty. Hikes depart from the parking lot as scheduled and are open to all ages so bring the whole family. ¡Esta caminata también estará disponible en español! Pre-registration is required for planning purposes. Call 427-6000 to sign up. Registration deadlines: March 14, April 11 and May 10.

Code                Date             Day                       Time

Amazing Amphibians

248108-S1       3/19              Sa                     3-4 pm

Anfibios Asombrosos

248108-S2       19/3             Sa           4:15-5:15 pm

Pink Moon

248108-S3       4/16             Sa                     6-7 pm

Caminata de Luna Rosa

248108-S4       16/4             Sa          7:15- 8:15 pm

Wildflower Hike

248108-S5        5/14            Sa           11 am-12 pm

Caminata de Flores Silvestres

248108-S6       14/5             Sa           2:15-1:15 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$1

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

 

Flower Moon Hike

The flower moon embodies all the spirit and energy of the spring season! Join us for a hike by the light of a full moon. Hikes depart from the parking lot as scheduled and are open to all ages. The earlier hike is designed with youth in mind, while the later hike is geared for adults. Pre-registration is required for planning purposes. Call 427-6000 to sign up. Registration deadlines: May 11.

Code               Date              Day                       Time

Youth Hike (Ages 17 and under)

248003-M1     5/16               M                      8-9 pm

Adult Hike (Ages 18 +)

248003-M2     5/16               M          9:15-10:15 pm

# Session/Fee: 1/$1

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

 

Summer Hikes and MORE!

 

Forest Bathing Walk 

Forest Bathing, or shinrin-yoku is the experience of immersing oneself in the sensory gifts of nature. This can be done in a forest setting, but also in gardens and parks. The benefits are not only a greater sense of well-being, but a boost in immune function and ready access to lower stress hormones and boosts in serotonin levels. This is not your regular walk in the park, but a series of invitations using the senses to connect with the natural world. Being relaxed, revitalized, and better equipped to handle the stress of daily living are the goals of this forest bathing walk. Ages 15+. Registration deadline: July 5. Min.12. Max. 20.

Code                    Date      Day                      Time

348120-A1           7/10       Su           1:30-2:30 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$15

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Stargazing

Twinkle, twinkle little star! Lindenwood Nature Preserve is the perfect place for stargazing! From super moons to meteor showers come join us as we learn about the wonders of the night sky. You will be able to use a telescope to locate planets and constellations in our galaxy. All ages are welcome. Registration deadlines are 5 working days prior to each hike. 

Code                     Date      Day                       Time

Super Moon      

348121-S1            6/11       Sa           9:45-10:45 pm

Meteor Shower

348121-S2            7/30       Sa           9:30-10:30 pm

Meteor Shower

348121-F1           8/12       F              9:15-10:15 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$1

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. The hike will last approximately one hour. Youth hikes are for ages 17 and under accompanied by an adult. Adult hikes are for those 18 and older. Pre-registration is required. Call 427-6000 to sign up. Registration deadlines: June 9, July 5 and August 9.

Code                     Date      Day             Time

Youth Hike

348122-T1            6/14       T              8-9 pm

348122-S1            7/9         Sa           8-9 pm

348122-S2            8/13       Sa           8-9 pm

Adult Hike

348122-T2            6/14       T              9:15-10:15 pm

348122-S3            7/9         Sa           9:15-10:15 pm

348122-S4            8/13       Sa           9:15-10:15 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$1

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Tree Identification Hikes 

What kind of tree is it? Join the Lindenwood naturalist for a hike in the woods and learn how to identify the various trees found there. You’ll discover simple tips and tricks for identifying the most common trees! ¡Esta caminata también estará disponible en español! Pre-registration is required and all ages are welcome 

Code                     Date      Day                       Time

Maple, Oak or Tulip?

348123-S1            6/11       Sa           9:30-10:30 am

¿Arce, roble o tulipán?

348123-S2            6/11       Sa           10:45-11:45 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$1

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave

Squirrel Hikes 

Are you interested in learning more about the furry friends who seem to live in every tree and yard you see? Come out to Lindenwood and enjoy a fun hike in the squirrel’s natural environment. ¡Esta caminata también estará disponible en español! Pre-registration is required.

Code                    Date      Day                        Time

Nuts About Squirrels

348124-S1            7/16       Sa           9:30-10:30 am

Tu amiga la ardilla

348124-S2            7/16       Sa           10:45-11:45 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$1

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Woodland Plants

Sometimes they say “you can’t see the forest for the trees” but out at Lindenwood, we try to focus on every part of the environment! If you’d like to learn about some of the smaller woodland plants you may find on your visits, come along on this hike to see what we can see! ¡Esta caminata también estará disponible en español! Pre-registration is required and all ages are welcome.

Code                    Date      Day                        Time

Woodland Plants

348125-S1            8/20       Sa           9:30-10:30 am

Plantas Forestales

348125-S2            8/20       Sa           10:45-11:45 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$1

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.


Wild Walkers

2nd and 4th Fridays of each month

Explore some of northeast Indiana’s finest outdoor areas with this nature-oriented group. 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 preserves, etc.) and carpooling is available when necessary. The 2022 schedule is posted at www.fortwayneparks.org or may be requested by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Traditional Miami Lacrosse Stick Making

Lacrosse is the original game of North America and is one of the oldest sports in the western hemisphere. A representative of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma joins us at Lindenwood to share Miami history and culture while demonstrating the process of making a traditional Miami lacrosse stick. All ages are welcome. The program is free, however, space is limited and pre-registration is required. Max. 25.

Code                    Date      Day                 Time

348126-A1           7/10       Su           1-2:30 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.


Mini Nature Camp 

Mini Nature Camp is designed to introduce children 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 more to learn about the world around them and connect with the great outdoors. The camp is limited to 10 children so each child can benefit from personalized attention. Ages 4-7. For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Code                    Dates                 Days                  Time

348118-M1          6/27-6/29            M-W      10 am-12 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 3/$42

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.


Nature Story Time 

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 deadline: June 13.

Code                    Date      Day            Time

348114-R1           6/16       Th           1-2 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

 

Testimonials

Hikes

Always enjoy Maggie as the hike guide, very knowledgeable, personable, and so enthusiastic about her work.  Cheri

 

Field Trips

This is a great hands-on nature exploration-gives students a chance to see things in their habitat.-Amy F.

What a fun and educational time we had at the Harvest Moon Hike! The naturalist was able to connect with all age levels and make it fun not only for the kids but adults as well.  It was interactive and exciting to learn about the different animals at night, view the world through their senses and actually see some animals as well.  Thank you Maria.  Joelle R. 

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Lindenwood Guided Hikes & Field Trips

May – October 31

Let us plan a nature outing for your class or group. Lindenwood Nature Preserve offers a variety of hands-on environmental education opportunities perfect for class field trips, birthday parties or other group outings. For a complete list of programs/topics, please visit the Lindenwood page at fortwayneparks.org. The cost is $3/participant/hour with a minimum fee of $30 for a 1-hour program . 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.. 

 

Volunteer Opportunities

Is your business, club, or scout group looking for service hours? Lindenwood Nature Preserve has various volunteer opportunities such as trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, and small-scale construction projects. If your organization is ready to lend a hand contact Eden at 260-427-6008


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

Wild Walkers 2022 

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. 

2022 Wild Walkers Schedule 

 

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

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