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

Welcome to JC DogPAC

JCdogPAC Board of Directors

All positions for the JCDogPAC board are currently filled.  However, dog park users are welcome to attend meetings and express an interest in serving as a volunteer or as a future board member.  Regular users of Rita’s Ranch and representatives from Coralville and Johnson County, outside of Iowa City, would be especially welcome.

Iowa City has two off-leash dog parks: 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.  The Board is considering ways to support other communities in Johnson County that wish to establish their own dog parks.

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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The next meeting of the JCDogPAC will be December 17, 6:30 p.m., at the Iowa City Public Library.  Meetings last about two hours.  This meeting will include voting on new board members and election of officers.  If you have considered being on the Board to help support our dog parks, this would be a great meeting to attend.  Everyone is welcome!

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Howl-o-ween Pawty!

Come to the Thornberry Dog Park Howl-o-ween Pawty on Sunday, October 27th.

Time:   2:00 to 3:00 for small dogs only

3:00 to 4:00 all dogs

This event will be cancelled if it is raining.   There is no fee for this event.

We will also be taking donations for the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center.  Items requested  include: Nylabones, squeaky toys, canned pumpkin (not pie filling), large bath towels, bed sheets and other items listed on the Iowa city Animal Care & Adoption Center web site:

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Welcome New Board Members

Please join us in welcoming two new board members to JCDogPAC:  Angela Pitkin from Coralville and Nikki Herbst from Iowa City.  Nikki and Angela are long-time dog park users and bring special canine and non-profit board experience to JCDogPAC.

Thanks, Nikki and Angela, for committing to dog parks in Johnson County!

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Dog Park Opinion Survey

So sorry. : – (   This survey on Survey Monkey has now closed.  But you can still share your opinions and ideas by emailing us at

Please take our opinion survey about the dog parks. Your opinion is important!! Go to:

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JCdogPAC board election results

New board members

  • Susan Bryant, President
  • Diane Downing, Vice President
  • Connie Peterson, Secretary
  • Corey Wilson, Treasurer
  • Kay Weiler, Director

Thanks go to Pam Smith and Karla Tonella for serving on the board.  Unfortunately, they have had to resign.  And welcome to Kay Weiler, our newest board member.

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

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facebookiconPlease “LIKE” JCdogPAC on Facebook

facebookiconAnd Please “LIKE” Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park on Facebook

March 28 Board Meeting

6:30 p.m., Coralville Public Library, Room A

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Snow cleared at Thornberry


Thanks to the volunteers that helped clear snow and ice from the paths at Thornberry. It took a week to do by hand but finally all dog companions have access to the park.

If anyone has an itch to get a new snow blower JCdogPAC could put your old one to good use. Even smaller ones would speed things up. If you can help contact us at

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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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