Public meeting on Dog Off-Leash Area Master Plan is this Thursday
If you own a dog, this meeting is one to pay attention to – there’s a public meeting on dog off-leash areas this Thursday, following up on the City’s Draft Master Plan for People, Dogs, and Parks Plan and taking public comment. This meeting is the last opportunity dog owners have to comment on and speak up on the future of dogs and parks.
The meeting is at 6:30pm at the Miller Playfield & Community Center (330 19th Ave E), and attendees are encouraged to arrive early. If you cannot attend in person, you can also email your comments and feedback to Rachel.Acosta@Seattle.gov.
Over $100,000 was spent on the Master Plan and thousands of dog owners who want more dog parks and beaches provided feedback via a survey. Despite the fact that there are roughly 150,000 dogs in Seattle, there are only 29 acres dedicated to off-leash areas. But, the Master Plan doesn’t add new off-leash areas. Instead it only increases the Parks department’s maintenance of OLAs and enforcement by animal control officers.
On Queen Anne, we have only one off-leash area at Lower Kinnear Park, and many dog owners have provided feedback to Citizens for Off Leash Areas (COLA) that it is too small and not convenient for all of Queen Anne. Per the Seattle Queen Anne Dogs (SQAD), there are 8,000 dogs on Queen Anne and Kinnear Park’s off-leash area is only 0.1 acre. For reference, the total acreage of all parks on Queen Anne is 40 acres.
COLA and SQAD urge dog park supporters to go to the public meeting on Thursday or email Rachel.Acosta@Seattle.gov. You can also go to the COLA website and click to send a letter to City Officials asking for more and better dog parks.
If you’re a dog owner and want more dog parks – or, better yet, a dog park on Queen Anne that can server the furry four-legged residents – the Master Plan is important. If it goes into effect as-is, it will mean a future of no new off-leash areas, possible increases in fines, and more enforcement.
Lower Kinnear’s off-leash dog park now open with celebration planned for Sunday
Queen Anne finally has its first off-leash dog park at Lower Kinnear Park – and it’s ready and waiting for your well-behaved pup to enjoy! I stopped by the park earlier this week, and aside from one pug and his owner, the park was quiet, like a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
It’ll soon be full of happy pups, as the official opening celebration is this Sunday, February 24th. The off-leash area is a COLA (Citizens for Off Leash Areas) park; COLA is a 100% volunteer-run non-profit organization that supports and maintains Seattle’s off-leash dog parks.
COLA worked with Seattle Parks’ landscape architects Joe Neiford and Frank Robinson to design the new off-leash area (OLA), which includes a kiosk, wooden fencing, wood chip surfacing, a bench, and native plantings on the adjacent hillside.
The Seattle Conservation Corps constructed the 5,400 square foot off-leash area and thanks to the efforts of COLA, Seattle Parks, Friends of Lower Kinnear Park (FOLKpark), and the Queen Anne community, local canines now have a safe place to play off-leash, socialize with other pups, and promote a safe park and strengthen neighborhood bonds.
Seattle dogs and their people are invited to join the opening celebration on Sunday, February 24th from noon-3pm. You can access the park from a lot behind Queen Anne Upholstery at 904 Elliott Ave W or you can walk through the park from the entrance on Roy St. (it’s a short, pleasant walk, the park has crushed stone paths and new plantings mixed with giant old trees).
The Kinnear Park off-leash area is part of a larger renovation of the park via funding from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund (Lower Kinnear Opportunity Fund). The community worked with Seattle Parks and HBB Landscape Architects to design improved trail connections and signage, a restored tennis court, and a natural setting with native plants.
For more information about the Lower Kinnear Off Leash Area or to volunteer at the OLA, contact Patrick Jones via email or at 206.913.7261.
Off-leash dog areas moving ahead in Queen Anne’s Lower Kinnear Park and Magnolia Manor Park
It looks like an off-leash dog area in Queen Anne has new life. Four years ago, there was a plan to add the area to Lower Kinnear Park. After several community meetings and site selections, the plan sat on the shelf. But we’ve learned that funding for design and planning will become available in late 2011, and construction could start in 2012.
The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy allocates funding for the project. The parks department has worked closely with Friends of Lower Kinnear Park on the 5400 square foot site, which can be seen as #2 on the map below (click the map to enlarge).
Another off-leash area has been designated at Magnolia Manor Park in Magnolia. The parks department tells us that both projects will go through another full public process. For background on the site selections that took place back in 2006, click here.