4 Dog Parks Have 78% of Seattle Dog Park Acreage
This Thursday, Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) will give a presentation on the state of Seattle dog parks at the monthly meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners.
The presentation is part of the lead up to a public hearing on September 11 where the Commissioners will listen to public comments regarding the draft of its People, Dog, and Parks plan.
The purpose of the plan is to “identify a long-term plan for the City’s existing 14 Off-Leash Areas (OLAs), as well as for maintenance, acquisition and expansion of OLA projects.”
Their research indicated “Seattle’s off‐leash program lags far behind nationwide dog off‐leash efforts, which are undergoing a boom unlike any since children’s playgrounds 100 years ago.”
In addition, a report by the Trust for Public Land found Seattle didn’t make the top 10 cities with regard to the number of dog parks per 100,000 residents.
Here are some of the other key findings of the COLA study:
- The #1 reason non-OLA users have for not using dog parks is that they are not conveniently located.
- Although Seattle has 14 dog parks, 78% of the total acreage is in only 4 of them – Magnuson, Westcrest, Genesee, and Dr. Jose Rival.
- Seattle has 14 off-leash dog parks, but residents only use four of them regularly – Magnuson, Westcrest, Golden Gardens, and Woodland. Magnuson alone contains over a third of the city’s total OLA acreage.
- Only three OLAs (Plymouth Pillars, Regrade, Golden Gardens) have some lighting for late afternoon and evening use in the winter.
- Only one OLA (Magnuson) has water access.
- Only four OLAs have small dog areas (Golden Gardens, Magnuson, Westcrest, and Magnolia Manor).
- Since 2001 Seattle has opened 6 new OLAs, but their total area was only 2.3 acres.
Seattle: Not as Dog Friendly as You Might Think
Although Seattle often appears in listings of the most dog friendly cities in the US. However, the media is beginning to notice our lack space for off-leash areas.
Last month, New York Magazine listed Seattle as one of the WORST cities to be a dog due to our lack of off-leash dog parks.
And in its initial assessment of the draft, COLA noted “there is zero commitment to expanding the OLA system, a moratorium on adding new swimming beaches for dogs.”
I’ll post my thoughts about the draft plan in a few weeks.
The Board of Park Commissioners meeting is this Thursday, August 11, at 6:30PM at 100 Dexter Avenue in Seattle. The meeting room is on the left after you go inside.
The COLA presentation is at 6:45PM. Public comments won’t be allowed. The Board will have a public hearing to take comments on September 22. You can submit written comments until October 14.