|Total Shots taken||87|
|Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %)||8 (9.2%)|
Jackson Bark, the #2 rated dog park in Chicago by Chicago Magazine (July 2016), is the only dog park located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It’s a labor of love created by Todd Agosto that features an agility course made from left-behind construction materials and discarded traffic signs (and consistent with American Kennel Club competition standards). It’s on park land, but not sanctioned by the Chicago Park District. Chicago’s South side dog owners LOVE it, and have given it a 4.5 star rating on Yelp! (with 351 pix) – the other dog parks are on the north side of the city, or near downtown. This one is in walking distance for Hyde Park residents, and a short drive with free parking for others living in close by neighborhoods, such as Kenwood and South Shore.
I’d seen “Jackson Bark” inscribed in the fence by what I thought was plastic water bottles, but this was my first visit to see! I am not a dog owner, but I thought it presented some interesting possibilities based on what I could see from afar. On top of that, an article written in the online magazine dna Info (www.dnainfo.com) piqued my interest. Record 70-degree temperatures on the Saturday of a three-day weekend gave me the opportunity to visit. Hope you enjoy these 5* selections.
- Announcing…. Jackson Bark! The nameplate in the fence was created using cloudy plastic cups (not plastic water bottles) that are clearly visible, even from across Lake Shore Drive. I loved this image, where you can see the Bark visitors – human and canine – enjoying the environs.
- Orientation: For new visitors, Todd (center, wearing hat) shows them the lay of the land, shares ground rules and otherwise talks about the evolution and the future of Jackson Bark. He makes sure they understand that he developed the Bark for the community (i.e., them), it is not sanctioned by the Park District, and that the future of Jackson Bark is NOT a given. 
- Pup Pub #2: There is a fence separating the two sides of the Bark, and in each there is a water station. I loved this modified speed limit sign advertising the pub! If the other agility course equipment didn’t provide the hint, then signs like this one did!
- Jackson (Paw)Lock: Who says colorful abstract art is best left to humans? NOT the 18 pooches who, paying homage to human artist Jackson Pollack, helped to create this colorful paw print painting. I loved the humor as much as the painting!
- No Smoking Pups on Skateboards: More pup-friendly messages
- Teaching Who? This couple tried teaching by example, walking along the circular ramp. Their dog, however, wasn’t having it, and didn’t join the owner on the ramp, simply walked alongside her.
With the record high 70 degree temperature, Jackson Bark had a continuous stream of visitors bringing their dogs for dog play dates, which are held daily every 3 hours. On days like this one — spring-like days in February– play dates are all day long. Enjoy these 5* images!
 Todd warned that others are eyeing this prime (but severely under-used) location behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Tiger Woods is in discussion with the Park District to create a professional golf course that could expand to include these unused tennis courts. Also Project120, a collaboration lead by the Chicago Park District seeks to unite several south side parks, again potentially reclaiming Jackson Bark for general park use.