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Seattle Parks and Recreation to Study Expansion of Off Leash Area System

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is set to launch an Off-Leash Area (OLA) study, which will be led by department subject matter experts. The study will look at 30 sites (see list below) across the city that may have the potential to become future OLAs. Staff will examine each site from an environmental, engineering, geographic, equity, and dog behavioral perspectives. At the conclusion of this study, SPR will be able to present to the community a list of sites that we believe are feasible and most suited for future OLAs. The Seattle Park District provides funding for 2 new OLAs; from there the department will need to request additional funding to construct and maintain any additional OLAs.

Dog jumping through an obstacle course at a dog park. The owner is next to the obstacle course encouraging the dog to jump through.

The 30 sites that will be looked at are:

Sandel Playground

Gas Works Park

Salmon Bay Park

Ballard Commons Park

Bhy Kracke Park

Mayfair Park

East Queen Anne Playground

West Queen Anne Playfield

Discovery Park North Parking Lot

Lincoln Park

Me-Kwa-Mooks Park

Hamilton Viewpoint Park

West Seattle Stadium

Delridge Playfield

Laurelhurst Playfield

Ravenna Park

View Ridge Playfield

Bryant Neighborhood Playground

Dahl Playfield

Hubbard Homestead Park

Washington Park Playfield

Homer Harris Park

Rogers Playground

Powell Barnett Park

Montlake Playfield

Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park

Rainier Beach Playfield

Othello Park

Benefit Playground

Martha Washington Park

Jefferson Park

Brighton Playfield

– – – – –

The connection between us humans and our furry friends runs deep in our collective history. From our likely role in their slow evolution from grey wolves into dogs around 15,000 years ago, to the fact that many of our households today are home to one or more dogs, it’s undeniable the increased role they play in our society and day-to-day life. With this comes the need for increased access to amenities for dogs that allow their owners to exercise and socialize them, make connections with others, and generally raise healthy and happy pets. 

SPR has been among other leading cities in providing access to legal off leash areas, constructing the city’s first Off Leash Area (OLA) in 1997. However, with the exponential growth we’ve witnessed of the number of dogs among Seattle residents in the recent decade, SPR has recognized the need for, and has been working toward, an expanded OLA system. We have had some success increasing the number of OLAs gradually over the years in partnership with community, but the current situation calls for a more concrete and robust response; one which not only helps increase the number of individual OLAs over the coming years, but also improves the overall quality and experience of our existing OLAs.