News :: Johnson County Dog Park Action Committee :: Iowa City

Welcome to JC DogPAC

JCDogPAC April and May Meetings

NOTE NEW DATE AND LOCATION FOR APRIL:  The April meeting of JCDogPAC will be held on Monday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the North Liberty Library  — 520 W Cherry St, North Liberty.

We will return to our usual date, time, and location — the third Tuesday of the month — for the May meeting:  5/19 at 6:30 in the Coralville Public Library –1401 5th St, Coralville.

The public is welcome to attend.

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JCdogPAC Board of Directors

The JCDogPAC board currently has a couple of open positions.   Representatives from Johnson County, outside of Iowa City, would be especially welcome.

In January, 2015, JCDogPAC changed its focus to helping other Johnson County communities, outside of Iowa City, develop and establish new dog parks.

Iowa City has two excellent dog parks that we have had the honor to help develop and support.  These are: Thornberry Dog Park, an 11 acre park in the Peninsula, at the western end of Foster Road, and Rita’s Ranch a 2.5 acre park located within Scott Park just off Scott Blvd, between E. Court Street and American Legion Road.    JCDogPAC hopes to do the same for other communities in the greater Johnson County area.

The City of Iowa City will continue to maintain and administer Thornberry and Rita’s Ranch. Any inquiries with regard to these dog parks, including reservations for private events, should be directed to the City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation Division:  319.356.5107…

The Board of Directors of the Johnson County Dog Park Action Committee may have up to seven (7) members elected at an annual meeting held on the third Tuesday of December (date may be adjusted for the holidays). However, any vacancy may be filled by a vote of the majority of the current board members. Terms are for two years. Directors do not receive salaries. A board member commits to

  • monthly meetings (3rd Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 PM),
  • promoting the safe use of the dog parks, and
  • participation in fundraising, educational, and promotional events.

The Johnson County Dog Park Action Committee is a 501(c)(3) corporation organized to facilitate the “creation and operation of fenced in, off-leash dog areas in Johnson County, Iowa where well behaved dogs and their owners can socialize and exercise in a clean, safe environment without endangering or disturbing people, property or wildlife, while creating a greater sense of community by fostering social interaction between citizens within the dog park and reducing encounters with citizens apprehensive to the presence of dogs off leash in other public park areas.” —Articles of Incorporation, 2003

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JCdogPAC board election results

New board officers for 2015

  • Angela Pitkin, President
  • Connie Peterson, Vice President
  • Nikki Herbst, Recorder
  • Pat Peterson, Treasurer
  • Sue Bryant, Director

Thanks go to Corey Wilson for his service as JCDogPAC treasurer.  Under Corey’s tenure, JCDogPAC established a new budget and updated its savings options.

Interested in serving on the JCDogPAC Board?  Attend a meeting and check it out!

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Dogster online magazine names Thornberry one of the top 10 dog parks in the country.

Iowa City Media Release

If a dog could, he or she’d give a high-five or a paws-up or at least a big lick and a high jump for the Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park — or so says Dogster, an award-winning online magazine that recently named Iowa City’s first dog park to its list of “10 Amazing Dog Parks You Need to See in Your Lifetime.” The list, compiled by writer Carol Bryant, was based on 20 years of traveling with her dogs and discovering those special places across the country that go above and beyond in their efforts to involve and engage canines.

Her review of the Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park, located off of Foster Road in the Peninsula neighborhood on the north side of town, awarded kudos for the park’s size — 11 acres — as well as its pond, separate yard for smaller dogs, Lucky Pawz Playground, and special events such as Halloween parties and dog swims. The park’s eco-friendly waste management system, which features the use of special disposable waste bags (provided free of charge at the park) that biodegrade in underground tanks when they come into contact with water, also received high praise.

“Is it any wonder Thornberry made our top 10?” Bryant concluded.

To view the full article, visit

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