Hank Ranks Dr. José Rizal Dog Park
Our canine correspondent rates
the City's off-leash dog parks.
Ranking: 3.5 Bones
Earlier this fall, dog-owners' dander was up about the possible reduction in size of the Dr. José Rizal Off-Leash-Area (OLA). Volunteers and neighbors have been making improvements to the park. So I had to check it out.
When my human and I pulled up to Dr. José Rizal Park, I felt I was in doggie-Heaven. The views of downtown Seattle and the stadiums are spectacular. We parked in a small lot at the park proper. Next time, we will likely park off-street on Charles Street, closer to the entrance of the OLA.
My tail almost fell off from all of the wagging in anticipation for my human to make me leash-free so I could tear down the slope/steps, just past the double-gated entry. But, I had to heal: Part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway has recently been built along the dog park, and as a result of the construction project, the fence on the west side of the park is temporary, and spotted with possible escape routes for a sneaky little fella like me. A new fence should be in place by the end of this year.
It was so worth the wait! Dr. José Rizal park is a 4.1 acre doggie-Heaven. A gravel trail runs lengthwise through the center of the park. On either side of the trail trees, patches of mud, and a potpourri of scents are available for a good dog to mark or roll on. The sniff factor is definitely a ten.
For humans, I highly recommend that you bring rubber boots, a towel for your four-legged friend, and additional poop bags (there are no shovels just yet at the park). Also, beware – there are few garbage cans within the OLA. So you'll need to carry our "gifts" around with you and deposit them as you leave.
I'm so glad that COLA volunteers and neighbors talked with Parks, and more importantly, that Parks listened.
The newly configured off-leash area will be completely fenced. It will keep the double gates at the northeast area and Parks will add another set of double gates to give access from the trail. As humans asked, Parks will install a lower hose bib for the fountain and signs that say there is an off-leash area. In the future, Parks might add a "small and shy" dog area (not for me!) within the off-leash area.
This park has potential. It's time we re-pupulate Dr. José Rizal OLA! If you'd like to lend a paw to help this park get a new lease on life, please contact COLA steward, Jessica Spears, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located at 1008 12th Avenue South on North Beacon Hill.
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Looking Ahead: Committee Assignments for 2012-2013
When I first took office in 2010, I had little idea how theCommittee assignments worked. I knew I was an incoming freshman so I was prepared to take what I was given. Imagine my surprise when, to my delight I received Parks and Seattle Center.
For the last two years, I have been honored to work closely with Robert Nellams and Christopher Williams, the Executive Director of the Seattle Center and the acting Superintendent of Department of Parks and Recreation, respectively. I've learned about the need for open space and the guiding principles of a vision for Century 21. I've learned that glass art can cause quite a stir and that the city's living room is ready to add a few more letters to their portfolio, namely KEXP. I've learned that the allure of Magnuson Park goes beyond a neighborhood's boundaries and that partnerships are critical to the success of your park. I've learned that people love their parks and the only thing that rivals that is how much I have enjoyed chairing this Committee for the last two years.
For 2012-2013, we will continue the good work we have begun. Parks will remain in our portfolio but we are adding Neighborhoods, as in the Department of, to our moniker! My office is thrilled with the addition and we see a natural fit between Parks and Neighborhoods.
That brings me to my next point—what to call the Committee. Parks and Neighborhoods (PAN)? Neighborhood and Parks (NAP)? Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Committee (PRANC)? Have a suggestion? Let me know!
And for those of you wondering about Seattle Center, there's good news. Though I won't be the chair overseeing the Center any longer, I won't be too far away. My colleague, Jean Godden, is adding it to her Committee assignments and I am honored to be a member of that Committee.
I thank all of those who have made my first two years so memorable to me, and I look forward to continuing to work with you in 2012.
Chair: Parks and Neighborhoods
Vice Chair: Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture
Member: Library, Utilities, and Center
Alternative: Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology
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- One-ninth of Seattle's land is parkland.
Seattle Parks and Recreation manages more than 6200 acres of park lands in more than 400 parks, more than 1 million square feet of buildings, and one-ninth of all the land in the city of Seattle.
Our public land includes:
- 27 recreation centers
- 8 indoor and two outdoor pools
- 3 golf courses
- 2 Asian gardens
- 204 athletic fields
- 151 outdoor tennis courts and one indoor tennis center
- 60 basketball courts
- 11 off-leash dog parks
- 2 small craft, rowing, and sailing centers
Green Lake Park.
(Note, Green Lake is two words, even though Greenlake Way is one word. Go figure.)
The Green Lake Aqua Theater was built in 1950 for the first Seafair. It was home to the Aqua Follies and their fabulous "swimusicals"—which were basically a combination of water ballet, stage dancing, and comedy.
The theater included a round stage and floating orchestra pit, encircling a section of the lake with high diving platforms on each side. The grandstand had more than 5,000 seats.
In 1969, the Grateful Dead played the Green Lake Aqua Theater.
Alas, that concert was the theater's last hurrah. The grandstand was found to be in disrepair too great to fix, and in the seventies the theater was raised. Some pieces remain: Stage right is now a pier, and stage left provides dock and storage for crew shells.
Lakeridge Park is part of the Taylor Creek watershed and includes a beautiful and much-cherished forested ravine. A one-mile trail follows the creek, lined with native trees and plants, and sturdy bridges cross the creek along the way. One of the bridges was helicoptered in, the traces of which can still be made out along the trail. Also alongside the trail you can see the remnants of an 1880s. Happily, the Park was renamed from "Dead Horse Canyon" by the Seattle Planning Commission in 1947.
Fremont Peak Park.
Fremont Peak Park is home to one of the forty-five best public art projects in the United States, as determined by the 2008 Americans for the Arts annual convention, and has gorgeous views of Puget Sound and the Olympics.
The park and its walls are designed to symbolize a remnant of the famed maze of King Minos, where the Greek hero Theseus battled the Minotaur.
Jimi Hendrix Park.
This park is going through public design review and is next to the Northwest African American Museum in the Central District. It is taking shape as a gathering place for celebrating diverse cultural heritages and taking part in innovative educational approaches. We can't wait to see it finished.
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