Mondog started out in the summer of 2000 as a group of people with nothing more in common than the love of Montrose Beach and enjoying a good walk with our four-legged friends. We were brought together by our founder, Susan Kimmelman, with the intention of making legal what had been a long standing practice of early morning and evening walks on the beach.After 2 years of patience, persistence and compromise, and the unexpected passing of our beloved Susan, we were granted a corner of the beach for a pilot area, and we've been there ever since.

So why do we need Mondog? After all, isn't it the Park Districts' responsibility to take care of the Dog Parks? Well, yes and no. The Chicago Park District charter for Dog Friendly Areas (DFA) requires that every Dog Park has a community organization to sponsor it. Once the Dog Beach became an official DFA it fell to Mondog to oversee the area, and to represent the dog beach community. The Park provides us with some services, but it is up to us to keep our area clean and safe. Our members help clean the beach daily, inform newcomers of the rules, and exert a positive influence over the dog beach. We try to solve problems within the community, and alert the authorities when necessary. We keep in touch with the Park District, and with other Community organizations who have an interest in our great park system. We work to provide information to the members and make improvements to the beach.

That certainly sounds like a lot of work, and we are a completely volunteer organization. There is a small suggested donation for membership of $50 that helps pay for beach improvements, and our operating expenses, (including this website).  Plus you get a free Mondog t-shirt!

We are always looking for volunteers to help out with beach clean-ups, education and special event planning, technology and content, and especially to come to the meetings and participate. If you would like to volunteer,  contact us with the contact link at the top of the page.

You don't have to be a member of Mondog to visit the dog beach, but if you are a regular beach user you should consider becoming a member of Mondog. It's the best way to show your on-going support for the Dog Beach. Our strength is in our numbers, and we need your support to allow us to keep supporting Chicago's first off-leash dog beach.

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Here is a list of races that the Chicago Tribune has reported on that take place at Montrose Harbor and may effect entry to the dog beach. 



5/26/19 5:30 AM - 12:00 noon Bike the Drive


6/1/19 9 AM DASH for Detection


6/2/19 7:30 AM PAWS 5K


6/29/19 7 AM Proud to Run


7/13/19  8:30 AM 5K to End Homelessness


9/22/19 10:30 AM Chicago Lung Run


See also the Chicago Tribune


Montrose Dog Beach is open all year.  


During the winter months, various conditions can make using the beach more challenging.


It is often windy at the lakeshore, so you can expect it to be colder as the wind chill takes effect.


Winds and cold temperatures can build up ice on the beach, the fences near the water, and on the lake.


If a lot of ice builds up on the lake, an ice shelf can be formed.  These can be extremely dangerous. People and their dogs should stay off the ice shelves.


We are traditionally challenged by the cost of keeping dog waste bags available at the beach.  We generally spend $1500 or more per year.

The board has decided that if we could find and acknowledge sponsors for each month, we could cover this cost and have a little left over for projects.  A sponsor could deduct this sponsorship as either advertising or a charitable donation to Friends of the Park, which is a 501c3 that we are affiliated with.  Since usage and awareness of MONDOG varies by season, the sponsorship would also vary by season: $120 per month for winter, $160 per month for spring and fall, and $200 per month for summer. 

If you or your organization is interested, the sponsorship of individual months for the next year are available at our online store.  Just click on the Donation Store along the top of our website page or click here.

Access to the Montrose Dog Beach for people and dogs is ALWAYS FREE unless the Chicago Parks District has set up a special event. In the case of the Dog Friendly Areas (DFAs) this is seldom to never.  However, another nearby event may restrict access to the DFA; but, going to the DFA is FREE.

There have been reports on our Facebook Page that people are trying to get admission fees for the Dog Beach.  These are SCAMS!  DO NOT PAY THEM!

This is not to say that you shouldn't follow the rules and have a DFA Tag to enter the Dog Beach.  These cost $5 - $10 from your vet and are good for the entire year.

Montrose Dog Beach was founded on a simple premise: “There is enough beach for everyone.” While our community has grown tremendously over the years, we believe the sentiment still holds true. We all love our slice of shoreline, but what many may not know is that the beach to our southeastern border is equally treasured by many species of birds and a large community of birders and nature lovers.

Unfortunately, the birders and nature lovers frequently contend with dogs that are illegally on both the main portion of the beach and in the two natural areas, Montrose Beach Dunes and Montrose Point. Dogs are not allowed in any of those areas whether leashed or unleashed.

The result, as the photo from a local birder shows, can be fatal for migratory birds that use the beach to rest and feed after long and exhausting migrations. Dogs are also a danger to the 11 bird species that nest at Montrose Beach. We’re sharing the stark photo of a Stilt Sandpiper, a rare bird for Montrose that was killed this past month by a dog that was on the beach illegally, to emphasize the importance of being thoughtful neighbors by only allowing dogs where they are permitted and always keeping dogs on-leash outside Montrose Dog Beach.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely part of the majority of people who love setting their pup free inside the dog beach, and then considerately leashes them on your way in and out. So we’re asking for your help to spread the word - both digitally and in person.


Thanks for your continued help keeping the beach safe, clean and fun for everyone.


Sandpiper being attacked by a off-leash dog

Those bags aren't free!


The Bag dispensers at the entrances have been a great help in keeping the beach clean, but they aren't free.  Mondog purchases bags and fills the bag dispensers on the Dog Beach.

Donating to Mondog is a great way to support the dog beach, and keep those dispensers full. Help us help you keep Montrose Dog Beach safe and clean by making a donation today. Your donations are tax deductible.



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