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2020 Dog Park Permits Go On Sale November 1

Photo for: 2020 Dog Park Permits Go On Sale November 1

Photo by Chris Cheng

The Forest Preserve's 2020 dog park permits go on sale Friday, November 1.

Permits are good for the remainder of 2019 through December 31, 2020. They can be purchased online or in person at three District visitor centers: Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township and Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet. Visitor center hours vary, so check online before you make a trip to purchase a permit.

Permits also can be purchased by mailing a Dog Park Permit Application with payment to Sugar Creek Administration Center, or by buying one online.


Annual permits cost $40 for county residents and $80 for nonresidents. Additional fees are charged for multiple dogs up to a maximum of three dogs total per permit. Discounts are available for senior citizens, veterans and active duty military. 

Annual dog park permits can be purchased from November through June. Half-year dog park permits are offered for half price from July through October. 

Each dog park permit holder will get an ID lanyard proving they have a valid permit. Lanyards must be worn at all times while in the dog parks. 

To make sure you have your lanyard with you every time you visit a dog park, as required by the rules, consider purchasing a duplicate lanyard for $5 so you can keep one in each of your family's vehicles. Only one duplicate pass is allowed per permit, however.

Dog park permits can be used at all of the District’s off-leash dog parks, which are located in these six preserves: Forked Creek Preserve – Ballou Road Access in Wesley Township, Hammel Woods – DuPage River Access in Shorewood, Messenger Marsh in Homer Glen, Lower Rock Run Preserve – McClintock Road Access in Joliet, Plum Valley Preserve – Burville Road Access in Crete Township and Whalon Lake in Naperville.

Each dog park has separate enclosures for large dogs and small dogs that weigh 35 pounds or less. Small dogs are free to use the large-dog enclosures, but large dogs cannot use the small-dog enclosures.


Dog park patrons must abide by all of the rules, including:

  • Dogs must be at least six months of age.
  • Permit holders may have no more than three dogs in the dog park at one time.
  • Dogs must display their rabies tags while inside the dog park.
  • Owners must wear their permit ID lanyards at all times while in the dog park.
  • Dogs must be leashed when entering and exiting the dog park.
  • Owners must remain with their dogs and keep their dogs under control at all times.

Also, dog feces must be removed and disposed of properly, according to the District’s General Use Regulation Ordinance No. 124. Tickets will be issued to those who don’t comply, and the maximum fine is $500. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, dog feces can contain parasites and germs that can be harmful to people. The feces also can be harmful to the environment, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Finally, dog park users should know that the use of dog parks entails certain risks and the Forest Preserve District is not liable for any injury or loss. When applying for a permit, be sure to read all of the rules and disclaimers so you are aware of what is required.


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