The Tompkins Square dog run is also known as "First Run" because it was the first of 55+ dog parks opened by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
Our dog run relies entirely on community donations for its upkeep and financial support. If you use the run, please consider making an annual donation of $35, $50, $100 or more.
"Friends of First Run" is the registered 501(c)(3) community organization designated by the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation for the support of the Tompkins Square dog run. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. 100% of your contribution is directed to the maintenance and upkeep of First Run
If your dog is injured at the park, please report it by clicking here and download this document.
We are located in New York City along the 9th Street path in Tompkins Square Park between Avenue A & Avenue B. The dog run is open 365 days a year from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Willy looks on in the large dog run
A Brief History:
In the mid 1980s, before the community had been granted an official dog run, Tompkins Square Park was a dangerous place suffering from the ill effects of rampant drug use and crime that plagued New York. The founders of First Run were not willing to give up their place in the park and fought the perils of the day -- and City Hall! -- to establish a safe place to gather with their dogs.
The city's first dog run was opened in 1990 as part of the renovation of Tompkins Square park. As ex-parks commissioner Henry Stern stated, "starting the run was just a good idea".
The Parks Department included one caveat: the run must be managed and funded by the community (not the city.) Dog owners who fought so hard to make First Run a reality, raised money and organized volunteers.
Today even those who have no love for dogs say that First Run was instrumental in bringing the park back to its glory days. First Run is a source of immense pride and devotion for countless people.
In 2008, the dog park underwent a $450,000.00 renovation. "Friends of First Run secured the funding and shephered the design & renovation process with the support of the great Park Commissioner Adrian Benepe whose dedication has brought about the massive restoration of the entire New York City park system.
Its many new features include a state-of-the-art running surface composed of decomposed granite sand, underground drainage, a large and small dog run, 3 swimming pools, picnic tables, as well as bath areas & hoses to spray off your dog before returning home.
Current board members of "Friends of First Run" are: Paul Seres, President (Taz); Eileen Bertin, Vice-President (Gideon); Renee Grosclaude, Treasurer (Sara); Garrett Rosso, Manager (Java &: Kai); Colleen Gray (Charlie); Eric Shatzkamer (Chilli); Drew Childers (Henry); Beth Maeyer (Roxie); Jack Morer (Savanah); Nick Furness (Niko); Brad & Garrett Jones (Shadow & Taz); Andrew Gauthier (Sherman); Courtney Stephenson (Edgar)
Maddie and Nico join in a romp
Standing at the gates of the small dog area
There is ample seating for humans and tennis balls provided for your dogs
One of 3 pools for the dogs to cool off in during the summer
Kuma looking regal