Faculty Advisor

Golding, Dominic

Faculty Advisor

Higgins, Lorraine D.


The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of off-leash dogs in Rock Creek Park (ROCR) and the best strategies to mitigate the problem. ROCR encourages responsible behavior among dog owners, but many dog owners do not follow the rules, harming the National Parks and the dogs. We provided recommendations to increase leash law compliance through review of literature, observations of dog and owner behavior, and interviews and focus groups with relevant stakeholders. We found off-leashing to be consistent in some parts of the park and that dogs pose significant danger to horses and riders. We recommended a BARK Ranger program, creating pamphlets explaining the motives behind the laws, unifying the priorities of NPS staff and Park Police, and utilizing social media.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

December 2018

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project