A Park for the People… and Their Dogs

Nitchun Family at Paws Bagel Bark
The Nitchun Sacks family attending a Central Park Paws Bagel Bark.

Mia Nitchun Sacks loves her dogs, loves Central Park, and loves taking her dogs to Central Park. That's why Mia was so excited when she discovered Central Park Paws, a program of the Central Park Conservancy representing the thousands of dog owners who enjoy the Park. Paws provides dog owners and other Park users with a forum to address issues relating to dogs in Central Park. Paws hosts activities for dog owners and their dogs, including monthly Bark for Central Park events, and the annual My Dog Loves Central Park Country Fair.

In the Park, Mia, now a member of the Paws Steering Committee, says she has met dog owners "of every age and stage, from every conceivable socioeconomic, professional and ethnic background." She describes meeting fellow dog-walkers in the Park and hearing inspiring stories about how their dogs have helped them to lead healthier and happier lives. She has met dog owners who say their dogs lifted them from depression and others whose dogs helped them live with lifelong illnesses. Many more dog owners, Mia says, have found community and friendship through their dogs, Central Park and Paws. Some of these stories are captured in our Central Park Dog Tales, collected at the My Dog Loves Central Park Country Fair.

For Mia, the Park is a special place where everyone can find peace and escape from the City, with or without canine friends. The Park's designers would have agreed. Frederick Law Olmsted wished "to supply to the hundreds and thousands of tired workers… a specimen of God's handiwork." One hundred fifty years later, the Park continues to bring nature to millions of "tired workers" each year and, in many cases, their dogs too.

To learn more about Central Park Paws, visit the Central Park Paws page.

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Things to See

  • The Pond in Central Park The Pond

    The Pond is one of Central Park's seven naturalistic water bodies. When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed Central Park, they imagined an immediate reprieve from the City's streets and designed the Pond as a serene escape, just feet from Fifth Avenue. Despite the millions of visitors who walk by the water's edge each year, you can still find a sense of solitude.