Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

A New Place for Pooches in Cape Cod

Written by Sarah Lapsley, Vick Chair, Young Professionals Network (YPN) Committee, Cape Cod and Islands Association of REALTORS® (CCIAOR).

As a dog owner and Cape Cod resident, I was very happy that CCIAOR and the Young Professionals Network (YPN) Committee used  NAR’s Placemaking Micro-Grant toward the Town of Yarmouth’ s new Dog Park.

About 4 years ago, I was living in Colorado when I rescued my dog, Talulah.  Having a puppy and being able to socialize her with other dogs was a must!  Once my husband and I moved back to Cape Cod, we found it difficult in the summer months to find a place for our dog to play with other dogs.  During the winter, we walk the beach with Talulah and meet many other dogs and their owners.  Once the summer arrives on Cape Cod, dogs are banned on our beaches.  May through September is a long time not to have the beach as your dog’s playground.  We found ourselves driving to a dog park located in a town 45 minutes away.


But then I noticed a flyer on the bulletin board of the local feed and grain store, where we buy our dog food, regarding a dog park that was to be built in the Town of Yarmouth.  The flyer directed people to join the "Friends of the Yarmouth Dog Park" group on Facebook.  I became very interested in the group’s mission and started watching their progress.


After reading an article about the new dog park in the local newspaper, we reached out to Karl von Horne, the Natural Resource Director of the Town who was spearheading the project.  We collaborated with him on how to best use NAR’s Placemaking Micro-grant toward the dog park.   We all agreed that the community message board would be the best fit for what we wanted to accomplish with our donation. “We were excited that CCIAOR wanted to make a contribution to the dog park. It’s nice when businesses are involved with their Town,” said von Horne.


The dog park is located on property adjacent to the Town’s Sandy Pond Recreation Center which has a small beach, sports fields, playgrounds and more. The dog park looks great and the message board is located at the entrance. It welcomes visitors to the park and keeps everyone informed and up-to-date.


Sarah Lapsley with Ryan Castle, CCIAOR CEO.

“The dog park is centrally located on the Cape and happens to be in the same Town as the CCIAOR office,” stated Patricia Pry, Sales & Marketing Director and YPN Liaison. “The YPN Committee was very passionate about our involvement. This project was in the news a lot and became an important issue not only for the community, but for many of our members as well.”

Since the Grand “Leash” Opening with over 50 people in attendance, I have been to the park many times with Talulah.  The design of the park works for dogs of all shapes and sizes.  It not only has a very large main gated area, but also two small areas for timid or smaller dogs.  The park is a wonderful addition to the community and I can tell just by the number of dogs that frequent the park on a daily basis that the dogs and their owners are thrilled! The Friends of the Yarmouth Dog Park Facebook page continues to be a great source for updates, comments and photos from the community!

Read about how dog parks have an impact on local real estate markets in Placemaking Goes to the Dogs.


Community Outreach Programs

Housing Opportunity Grant
Housing Opportunity Grants support state and local REALTOR® Associations’ affordable housing activities. The goal of the program is to position REALTORS® as leaders in improving their communities by creating affordable housing

Smart Growth Grant
Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The Smart Growth Program offers state and local REALTOR® Associations to way to engage with government officials, community partners and the general public in planning and designing community’s future.

Planned diversity initiatives makes good business sense. REALTOR® Associations with well-planned diversity programs create a stronger sense of community, particularly in neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreign-born and minority residents who are moving up the socioeconomic ladder and are buying homes.

NAR Placemaking Resources

Placemaking Guide: A Guide to Transform a Public Space into a Community Place
REALTORS® and state and local association staff can learn the details of Placemaking, the kinds of projects placemaking entails, how to organize them, and where to go for assistance and resources.

Placemaking Webinar Series
Our Placemaking Webinar Series will provide more in depth information on the various types of Placemaking and how REALTORS® were involved in Placemaking activities in their communities.

Placemaking Grant
The Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new public spaces, like pocket parks, trails & gardens, in a community. The grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects, which can be built under a year and cost less  than $200,000.

Comment Policy

The opinions expressed in reader comments sections on this website are those of the reader and not NAR or REALTOR® Magazine.

Smart Growth

The healthier a community, the better the environment for REALTORS®. Keeping a community attractive, livable and functioning well is a complex task.