If you have a dog, you’ve probably realized by now that King County is full of fun places where dogs and their human companions can go and romp around in the outdoors. Here at King County Parks, we love dogs (and their people). In fact, our very own Marymoor Park, which features a 40-acre off-leash dog area, has been deemed the “Disneyland for Dogs”!
King County Parks’ current rules require that dogs be on leash at all times in our parks and on our trails, with the exception of within the off-leash dog area at Marymoor Park. Recognizing that most of our parks offer a different, more backcountry experience than parks in Seattle or other cities in our region, King County Parks has begun a dialogue with park visitors about rules surrounding dogs.
Specifically, we want to hear from park visitors of Island Center Forest and Taylor Mountain Forest. Those parks could potentially serve as pilot sites for allowing off-leash dog walking on roads and trails there, though that’s not something that would be expanded to all of our 200 parks and 175 miles of regional trails. We know that this is a complex issue, and ensuring the safety of all of our visitors is always our top priority. We here at KC Parks are always striving to balance the many ways people want to enjoy our parks while protecting habitat and wildlife too.
And that’s is where these initial conversations come in: We’re doing some informal information gathering and also researching what folks in other parks systems are doing. We held a meeting with the Friends of Island Center Forest last week, and we’ll hold another meeting for Taylor Mountain Forest park visitors.
This preliminary information will help us better understand the issues at these sites and whether or not it merits further action. And all of this is separate and prior to any formal public process that would be necessary if we were to change existing park rules and would include public meetings and comment periods.
Taylor Mountain Forest – park user meeting
Thursday, May 26
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Maple Valley Fire Station #81
22225 SE 231st St, Maple Valley 98038
Tell us what you think about dog walking at Island Center Forest and Taylor Mountain Forest on parksfeedback.com.