Momentum building for off-leash dog park

MARYSVILLE — After neighbors complained about possible noise and other problems, city officials set aside a proposal for an off-leash dog park on a small strip of land next to Sunnyside Elementary School.

  • Tuesday, July 1, 2008 2:53pm
  • News

MARYSVILLE — After neighbors complained about possible noise and other problems, city officials set aside a proposal for an off-leash dog park on a small strip of land next to Sunnyside Elementary School.

According to proponents and city officials, an alternative proposal to place a temporary off-leash area in a portion of Strawberry Fields will be in front of City Council on July 14.

While Council approval is not guaranteed, the new plan does seem to be building momentum in its favor.

“I don’t anticipate any real objections,” said City Councilwoman Carmen Rasmussen.

“They (Council members) are fine with the information we’ve given them so far,” said city Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ballew.

Essentially, the off-leash park would be a fenced off area in roughly the south east corner of Strawberry Fields. Both Ballew and Rasmussen emphasized that portion of the park currently is not being used. The off-leash area will not reduce or cut into any existing sports fields, officials said.

“It definitely will be installed with the idea that is temporary,” Rasmussen added, a fact that she believes could be a big selling point in terms of the plan gaining Council approval.

By at least initially approaching the dog park as temporary, Rasmussen said, Council members and other city officials will have an opportunity to judge how much the area is used and how well the area is kept functioning before committing to a permanent facility,

Ballew added that the temporary nature of the off-leash area would allow the city to relocate it if officials ever decide to expand the existing athletic fields.

While Ballew said the city will spend about $20,000 to purchase and install fencing, upkeep largely will be left to the Marysville Dog Owners Group, or M-Dog.

M-Dog has been the primary proponent of creating an off-leash park in the city. A certified non-profit organization, M-Dog is the behind the city’s annual Poochapalooza event. The group’s Leslie Buell said she feels the Strawberry Fields location for an off-leash area could prove ideal.

More so than the Sunnyside location, Buell said Strawberry Fields is readily accessible to residents in northern Marysville. She also said she routinely sees residents walking dogs in the park already.

“I am definitely happy with that location,” said M-Dog volunteer Julie Polkinghhorn, who added she feels it is a spot that will be well utilized by dog owners.

According to Buell, with funds raised via Poochapalooza, M-Dog will maintain the site, cleaning it as necessary and providing signage and such items as collection bags for dog waste.

Buell said M-Dog has between 40 and 50 volunteers signed up and ready to help keep the park in order. Additionally, she said Homestead Bank has agreed to donate a water fountain for the park, a fountain that will have an opening on the bottom for use by dogs.

If Council gives final approval to the plan, Ballew said the city will install fencing for the off-leash area in August, with a possible opening in September. The work will coincide with a $100,000 city project aimed at improving drainage from Strawberry Fields. Ballew added the drainage work should dramatically improve the usability of the park’s athletic fields.

More in News

Lions Clubs ‘Give Big for Health’ White Cane Days on Giving Tuesday

Undeterred by COVID, clubs fundraise online for vision, hearing and health screening programs

Inslee: Stay home for 2 weeks

By Jerry Cornfield and Zachariah Bryan The Herald OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Fences have been put up around Marysville playgrounds to keep kids off. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville leaders concerned as (almost) everything’s closing

By Steve Powell MARYSVILLE – Within hours of Gov. Jay Inslee’s… Continue reading


Beware of coronavirus scams SEATTLE – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is… Continue reading

Jennifer Thompson, left, and her father Ron Thompson secure a new remembrance plaque to the Oso slide site gate on Sunday, near Oso. Ron Thompson handcrafts a new plaque for the gate every year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community remembers Oso slide victims, survivors

By Ben Watanabe The Herald OSO — The power of remembering the… Continue reading

People gather to pick up special allergy meals before leaving Lakewood High School on Wednesday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Districts taking meals to students since schools are closed

By Stephanie Davey The Herald LAKEWOOD — Children wearing pajamas stood outside… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Letter about coronavirus from Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

This is an edited version of a letter Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring… Continue reading

DOUGLAS BUell/Staff Photos                                Lead cook Keina Gowins with Presidents Elementary hands out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students and parents outside the school Wednesday. Presidents and AHS serve as central kitchen sites for preparing meals, which starting next week will expand to 12 delivery sites from Silvana to Oso. Right, Arlington Food Bank executive director Carla Gastineau and Mike Simpson, food bank board president and owner of Arlington Grocery Outlet, partnered with the district with their Meals Til Monday program, and gave a woman a box of donated food while at Presidents.
Arlington students won’t go hungry during the COVID-19 school closures

ARLINGTON – Arlington schools are closed through April 24 to help fight… Continue reading

Scott Beebe hands out Chromebooks to people in their cars. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville parents anxious to pick up school materials for kids

By Steve Powell MARYSVILLE – A few days ago Marysville schools… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more… Continue reading

Crews will blow garbage into the street and sweep it up over the next few weeks. The city is asking people to move their cars, trash cans and recycle bins when they come around to help them do a thorough job. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville shuffles workers due to virus, seeks public’s help for sweepers next week

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe. MARYSVILLE – From working from home to teleconferencing… Continue reading