Mike McGinn, Mayor
Christopher Williams, Acting Superintendent
For Immediate Release: August 30, 2011
Contact: Dewey Potter, 206-684-7241
Seattle Parks to attend Beacon Hill Community Council meeting to present proposed configuration for Dr. Jose Rizal Park off-leash area
Mountains to Sound Greenway segment changes face of park
Seattle Parks staff will attend the Beacon Hill Community Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. on September 8 at the Beacon Hill library, 2821 Beacon Ave. S to present Seattle Parks and Recreation’s proposed configuration for the off-leash area at Dr. Jose Rizal Park. The public is invited to view and provide input on the proposal.
Jose Rizal Park, at 1008 12th Ave. on Beacon Hill, includes a five- acre off-leash area, more than half of its 9.6 acres.
The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Seattle Department of Transportation are building a bicycle/pedestrian trail along the western edge of the park, a segment of the Mountains to Sound Greenways trail. In response to that construction, and to other efforts to make the area look and feel safer, Parks proposes to reduce the size of the off-leash area in the park.
The off-leash area was created in 2005, largely in response to Amazon.com
, whose headquarters at the time were across the street from the park. It is Amazon’s policy to allow employees to bring their dogs to work. Since Amazon has moved its headquarters to the South Lake Union neighborhood, use of the off-leash area has diminished. Its proximity to “The Jungle,” so named because of homeless encampments and a high occurrence of illegal activity, has caused use of the off-leash area to drop, and there is no current steward from Parks’ partner, Citizens for Off-Leash Areas.
Mayor McGinn’s office is currently taking steps to clean up “The Jungle.” The Green Seattle Partnership (http://greenseattle.org/
) has an approved plan for Jose Rizal forest restoration that involves significant vegetation removal, including some trees. There is a coveted orchard in the park that bears fruit and walnuts.
The park, which features beautiful views of downtown Seattle and Puget Sound, has an active volunteer group who help with restoration efforts. While the trail will be unfenced, the Parks proposal includes a fence enclosing the off-leash area
The trail construction has presented Parks with an opportunity to reconfigure the off-leash area so that bicycle traffic and off-leash dogs are both protected.