Kirkland City Council Approves Off-Leash Dog Park

Jasper's Park is the suggested name for Kirkland's off-leash area for dogs

After years of false starts and broken promises, Kirkland's dog owners have finally received approval for an off-leash area (OLA) for dogs in Kirkland. At their November 1st meeting, the Kirkland City Council unanimously approved creation of an off-leash area for dogs to be located at some vacant city-owned property located near the intersection of 113th Avenue N.E. and N.E. 120th Street, just south of the Heronfield Wetlands.  In 2005, the City purchased the 7.5 acre property for park and open space purposes, and up to two acres are under consideration for a fenced, off-leash area.

Previous objections to an OLA in Kirkland had been raised when the plan was to change an existing use in city parks. Also, startup costs and ongoing maintenance were concerns in a city under severe budget constraints. These concerns were all addressed by a citizen organization known as Kirkland Dog Off-leash Group (KDOG) which is largely responsible for the successful shepherding of this cause through the halls of city government.

KDOG is a non-profit organization which has proposed to pay for development, maintenance, and operation of the facility. KDOG has raised over $11,000 of what is estimated to be a cost of over $50,000 for the dog park. The successful Go Dog, Go! event held each of the past two summers have been examples of KDOG's ability to organize and produce results.

Given the strength and dedication of KDOG, there was little reason to deny this request for an off-leash area. The council acted unanimously to approve the the measure to the great pleasure of many dog owners in attendance at the meeting.

During items from the audience, Terri Fletcher spoke before the council and made the suggestion that the new dog park be named Jasper's Park - in memory of KDOG president Jean Guth's dog Jasper, which died this past year.