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First Run depends entirely on volunteers to keep the run clean, safe, and all-around pleasant place to be.

The small dog run gang poses for a picture after a morning of turning new mulch into the soil
There's a lot you can do to help!

How To Help Out

Posted Thursday, May 12, 2008

"Friends of First Run" is the volunteer organization designated by the Parks Department to oversee the Tompkins Square dog run. This is a non-hierarchal organization of friends that any dog park user can join by attending our annual meeting held sometime after labor day to plan our annual Halloween fundraiser.

CLICK HERE if you are interested in joining the volunteer committee.

The volunteer committee meets throughout the year to organize clean up days, fundraise, care for the gardens & trees, and assist in maintenance projects under the direction of the "NYC Department of Parks & Recreation" and "NYC Partnership for Parks" for the upkeep of the run such as repairs to the fixtures or replenishing the sand surface. "Friends of First Run" also is a member of the umbrella organization NYCdog (the New York Council of Dog Owner Groups) which advocates for legislation and volunteer efforts for all New York City dog parks and off-leash areas.

Also parks users can help out anytime by attending our monthly clean up days that are posted at the gates of the run at the beginning of each month.

It's also the duty of every dog park user to monitor the run and politely point out the rules. However, we're not law enforcement. We can encourage folks to be responsible but call 911 if any activity seems egregious (or stop into the parks office directly in front of the run.)

Here are some tasks you can do any time:

Rake sand that builds up along the cribbing around the run towards the center. There's a rake to share between the large and small run.

Fill in holes beneath the benches where the dogs dig. There's a membrane about 6-9" below that should never be exposed to the dog's paws

Pick up poop

Use the hose to wash off the concrete pad around the drinking bowls

Use the hose to wash off the deck in the small dog run

Sweep entrance

Encourage folks to use the ash trays -- and not the surface -- for their butts! There's ashtrays hanging from most park benches

Please Volunteer:

If you see something that might be improved, or want to help out with more heavy-duty projects, let us know!

Contact US
Friends of First Run

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First Run is New York City's largest off-leash dog park. "Friends of First Run" is an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the maintenance, fiscal support and safety of the Tompkins Square Dog Run.