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Some may refer to them as neighborhoods that Philly forgot about. However, over the recent years a small pocket of neighborhoods north of Spring Garden and Girard, and bordering Front and 7th Streets, have become some of the most sought after living and business areas in the city.

With an eclectic, diverse, career-focused mix of people cohabiting in these neighborhoods, they most definitely all have one thing in common — their love for dogs!

The Orianna Hill Park Entrance

As new development housing went up and rehabs started, the sidewalks within the Northern Liberties, Fishtown, New Kensington and even stretching into Port Richmond started to become populated with urban dwellers, both old and new, along with their best friends and partners in crime — their dogs. Even though these neighborhoods all have parks that date back for many generations, very few, if any, had any type of fenced in area to let your pooch run free.

With major roads, that are heavily traveled by public transportation and daily commuter traffic, running through these on-the-rise neighborhoods it made it difficult to get the necessary exercise your dog requires off leash and the socialization that is necessary for both you and Spot!

One of the first fenced in dog parks that was developed is Orianna Hill Park. The park is conveniently located on Orianna Street, north of 3rd in the Northern Liberties area near Liberty Lands Park and a few short blocks from the Piazza and Liberties Walk.

Playing at Orianna Hill Park

The Orianna Hill Park is a nice size lot that is well developed for dogs to run and play and their owners to gather and socialize. The park itself is in the shape of an “L” and is enclosed by a large fence which has ornate gates at its entryway. It can be simply referred to as “The Dog Park” by residents and is home to gardeners who use plots of the land for agricultural purposes in a 20 year old community garden. One can find picnic benches within the park itself in order to bring a snack to sit and enjoy, or to use for a small “yappy hour” for both pups and their owners.

There is also a community bulletin board located in the park to post upcoming events, adoption and lost & found posters, or whatever news you want to share pertinent to the NoLibs community.

The park is most definitely a peaceful place to spend some quality time with your best friend, and some other friends, both old and new.

The park is a members operated and ran park and requires all dogs and their human friends to be registered in order to enjoy the amenities it has to offer. More info and park rules and regulations can be found at Check it out today!

Palmer Doggie Depot entrance

If NoLibs is too far away from your front stoop because you live in the Northern neighborhoods above Girard and east of 2nd Street, you may want to make your way to the Palmer Doggie Depot.

The Palmer Doggie Depot is a welcome sight to the residents of Fishtown and New Kensington/Kensington as it is conveniently located at 37 E. Palmer St (on E Palmer St at Blair St). The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and is totally fenced in with a lively grounds area for dogs and owners to mingle.

Our dog park was built by New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) as a part of a larger project to make improvements to the Shissler Recreation Center. Both Shissler and the new Kensington CAPA High School form what NKCDC has dubbed the “Big Green Block”, or the block bounded by Palmer, Front, Norris, and Blair Streets. NKCDC has done amazing work with the city and nonprofit partners to not only improve the Rec Center and build the dog park, but also to construct innovative rain gardens and underground water infrastructure to help the Water Department manage storm water better in our area.

The park itself has both stones and grass as its foundation for running. This makes for great traction for dogs to run and play. The stones and grass combined are also great cool down areas for pups to take a break and lay down and cool their bellies from all the fun and games!

Thirsty pups at the Palmer Park

Thirsty dogs at the Palmer Park

The park is maintained by the neighbors and residents of the area. It has a five member board that works to continually develop the park and do local community outreach to make the area more cohesive and dog welcoming.

So, if one of the thoughts that crossed your mind about moving to these areas was “where can I take Spot to?”, well look no further. Here are two great solutions to your potential pet owning woes.

Check out each of their web sites for info and policies and upcoming events. Philly is one of the most dog populated cities in the country. It most definitely takes a village, or in Philly’s case, a neighborhood, to make a difference. Be an active part in your dog community and help do what you can to continue to make Philly, dog friendly!

Peace. Love. Furriness.  Always…


Photo cred: Mutt Squad Amber Verbas
Britt James Carpenter

Britt has been active member in the pet friendly Philly community for many years. Having three rescue dogs and three rescue cats of his own, Britt decided to take his passion for animals and start his own business. Currently he is Owner and President of Muttropolitan Pet Sitting & Dog Walking, a company that services the greater center city Philly metro region. In addition to this, Britt also serves on the Board of Directors for the Morris Animal Refuge, the oldest animal rescue in the country, located right in Center City. Watch for Britt's continuing blog series on "Dog Friendly Philly".