Ellicott Island Bark Park Seasonal Closure

Modified: March 2, 2021 10:11am

Every late winter & early spring Ellicott Island Bark Park goes through a wet season. As the snow melts & the rainy season begins, water does not drain quickly from the island. The terrain of the island makes this difficult because the edges of the island are higher than the center, making the island react like pouring a glass of water into a bowl. The water just sits there until it has time to slowly drain through the ground or the sun comes out enough to help it evaporate. The pictures provided on this page show how this has occurred in years past.

Under these conditions, wear & tear from both people & canines, can quickly tear up the turf.  Our best approach to maintaining the turf on the island has been to protect it amd has been done every spring since Ellicott Island Bark Park was made an official dog park. 

In addition, standing water in the Bark Park can turn into a health hazard for all dogs. Especially if not all dog owners clean up after their dogs as required by park rules. If you see this happening, please offer the owner a waste bag & point out where their dog has gone. Don’t be mean about it, as some people honestly, occasionally miss seeing their dog going. 

With this mix of standing water & dog waste, it could cause the potential for diseases & parasites such as Giardia & Leptospirosis to spread. There may be vaccines for both of these, however because they are not required by NYS, not all dogs are vaccinated for them. Keeping your dog away from standing water conditions in & out of the Bark Park is the best option to help maintain the health of your dog.

For these reasons, once the ground begins to thaw, especially with additional rain, Friends of Ellicott & Erie County Parks & Recreation Dept. work together to determine when closing Ellicott Island Bark Park is necessary, with the final decision being made by Erie County Parks & Recreation Dept. Friends of Ellicott posts closing info on Twitter, Facebook & our webpage: friendsofellicott.com. We try to give a 24 hour notice of closings, but this is not always possible. 

Through the winter Ellicott Island will open & close based on the conditions listed with one long close beginning sometime towards the end of February beginning of March & reopening as conditions allow sometime around May 1st. While the grounds may appear dry enough in April we keep it closed for a few weeks longer in order to give the grass some time to fill in before the dogs return.

Please visit the Friends of Ellicott for more information on the seasonal closure or how you can become a partner in supporting this great park.  


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Phone: (716) 858-8355

Erie County Parks, Recreation & Forestry
Edward A. Rath County Office Building
95 Franklin Street, Rm 1260
Buffalo, New York 14202