It’s only fair to review Green Springs Dog Park officially since I’ve been to the Hoover one and documented it. So recently we drove down on a morning off and visited the park.
Where: 1871 Greensprings Hwy, Birmingham
When: Surnise to Sunset
What: A fenced 2.6 acres with separate large and small dog areas
Tips- sometimes I’ve had to wait an hour or more in the middle of the day for a dog to come and play with Whiskey. I usually play with him till some one comes but still, it’s not a bad idea to bring something to read while you wait. It’s busier I think in the evening and on weekends. Bring doggie bags in case they are out. Also, bring a bowl and water. Sometimes someone leaves a bowl but just as often there’s not one. I learned never to wear anything nice. My dog isn’t a jumper but others are and a few well placed muddy paws on good work clothes broke me of wearing anything nice to the park. Now I can get just as dirty as I want and not feel guilty or hold back in playing with the dogs.
Our experience- Well, we’ve overall had more good experiences than bad. But the last time I went (for this blog) we had a homeless man come out of the ditch/creek area and approach us before I got out of the vehicle. He would not leave and attempted to stop my vehicle when I tried to back out. I’ve worked with the homeless population for years as a social worker and then later as a librarian at a major library that is, well, very well frequented by the transient and homeless population, so I’ve never been intimidated or worried about my safety with the homeless population. Ever. But this guy… raised my hackles. Something about him really worried me. And the fact that he was so demanding of me to roll down my window, and tried to stop me when I tried to back up. Well, that just made my danger! danger! radar go off at full blast. Needless to say I finally had to roll my window down and had an exchange where I repeated, cell phone in hand, that I was sorry but I couldn’t help him. He eventually left and I immediately called my husband. I debated not going to the park at all because no one was there. Not a soul but me and Mr. Determined Not To Let You Leave the Parking Lot Homeless Guy. Mr. DNTLYLtPLHG for short… Right.
Pictures here will attest to the fact that we manned up and got out. Oh, and just so you’ll know Whiskey did bark at the guy, though not as much as I wish he had. Really when the guy left was when he let him have it. As the guy walked away out of the parking lot and up Green Springs Whiskey gave him the barroom equivalent of “yeah and don’t come back!” that the loser wimp guy shouts at the big football player after the door swings shut. Yeah, thanks for the back up man. You won’t ever be my safety protection charm huh?
Pros of park:
- Lots of mixed shade and sunny area to run in.
- There are usually lots of other big dogs to play with (Sundays mid morning is your best bet for a large group).
- There is quite a bit of park around if you want to wander about. There are often people with unleashed dogs walking around the park too.
- There are usually doggie bags for poo.
- Quite a few places for the human to sit and hang out as well (at least in the large dog area).
- I like that people with small dogs are not afraid to bring their dog in with the large dogs. My dog loves playing with small dogs because their energy is usually high and he is not intimidated by them. I’ve never had anyone complain. The more the merrier and as long as your small dog isn’t scared of big dogs then I say come on over and play!
Cons of Park:
- I’ve noticed quite a few holes in the fences both in the original large dog area (currently not being used, who knows why) and between the big and small dog area.
- Expect some poo. My dog has rolled in it quite a bit before and I’ve picked up a lot on my shoes. Not everyone scoops.
- Just like anywhere it can get muddy so choose wisely if you’re going on a drizzly or rainy day.
- Sometimes there are no bags to be found to scoop poop. Come prepared! And I’ve been there when all the garbage cans were overflowing and had to hike my poo out. A small price to pay.
- There have been aggressive, unnuetered, and sick dogs on several occasions (sometimes all at once in the same dog!) with owners unwilling to reprimand their dog or leave. None of these things are supposed to be allowed but…
- I have driven all the way out before only to find all the dog areas locked. Sometimes only one of them is open and it’s not the one you need. For instance we’ve gone in the small dog area until a small dog arrived then left because the large dog areas were locked.
- Recently, the large dog area has been locked and everyone has been using the last large area that is marked “reserved.”
- I’ve heard several complaints that there aren’t enough small dogs coming to the park to play with, and there are lots of large dogs. But if you see above in the pros- lots of small dogs go into the large dog area and play so they won’t be alone. It’s always worked out fine when I’ve been there.
Directions and layout: Take 65 southbound to the Green Springs Avenue Exit (#258). Go Left at the end of the exit. Turn Left again at second light onto Green Springs. Prepare to turn Right fairly shortly when you see the George Ward sign. The dog park is across the parking lot near the tennis courts where you see fenced areas on your left. The big dog section is the first on the left but it has been closed for several months. On my way out I noticed a large gap in the fenced section and I wonder if that’s why. The small dog section is directly beside it. Then the makeshift current large dog section is the last and has the coolest “forest” inside of it.
Overall score: 6 tail wags out of 10.
Sometimes it’s just a five, but often it’s a higher score than that. The people I’ve met are great and the bad experiences with sick, non-neutered, and aggressive dogs at this point are outweighed by the good experiences.