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Who Let the Dogs In?

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Frank Hicks, that's Who, Who, Who!

There’s something really amazing about this community. It’s the volunteers. On Saturday, November 13, while dozens of locals turned out to decorate Main Street for the holidays, nearly forty owners and almost as many dogs met to honor Frank Hicks, founding father of the Groveland dog park.

Our dog park rivals most urban parks not only for its size, convenient location, and beauty, but for all the things that Frank Hicks has done over many years to make it a truly special place for our local dogs and their owners. By a unanimous bark, the regulars who frequent the park voted to name it the Frank Hicks Dog Park in honor of their collective best friend. That’s as it should be, because as Frank states, “I did it all for the dogs.”

Thanks to Frank’s dedication and perseverance, the dog park was opened in 2007 on two acres of beautiful treed land made available by Groveland Community Services District (GCSD). And unlike many urban parks, our dog park is fully funded by membership fees and the generosity of local dog people who give their time and additional money to make it the Top Dog of Highway 120 Dog Parks. (Editor’s Note*: Seriously, could cats ever accomplish something this incredible? Would they even want to?)

The space is entirely fenced with separate areas for large and small dogs. Members gain access using a gate code, which is changed every year for members’ security. The park is maintained by a pack of humans who do the doo-doo work, keep the chairs clean, the benches painted, and the wood chips fresh.

In 2021, volunteers created a quarter-mile walking path that had already been “ruffed” out by Scutaro, the park’s favorite border collie and former Honorary Deputy Mayor of Groveland, from hours of patrolling the perimeter. The path, appropriately named “Scuta Road,” begins at the tribute fence honoring more than seventy current canine members and some who have passed over the rainbow bridge. Big and small balls abound. There’s even an authentic (non-working) fire hydrant, though most prefer the privacy of their favorite tree or bush.

It’s always more than a dog’s day out at this park. While the pups play, the humans socialize--neighbors keeping up with family and community news. There’s a bulletin board, a lost-and-found corner for forgotten toys, a place to hang your leash, and fresh water for the pooches. Each July, the Dog Park Annual Picnic brings faithful owners together for people-food and fun (without the dogs for a change).

Good Dogs are welcome at the Frank Hicks Dog Park. Membership is available through GCSD. The annual fee is $25 for up to two dogs (plus $10 for each additional dog). Dogs are required to provide current Rabies and Bordetella vaccination certificates when registering or renewing. To find out more or to download an application, go to

*The editor’s note does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Yosemite | Highway 120 Chamber of Commerce board or membership, some of whom are known to be cat people.

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