In the early 1990s, local citizens identified the need for sites in Seattle where people could interact with their dogs in an off-leash environment. After six years involving numerous public meetings, petitions and a three-year pilot program, the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to establish permanent dog off-leash areas with a process in place to create new areas over time. Currently there are eight off-leash areas in Seattle, with two more being planned.
Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) was formed in February 1995 as an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to work with the city and create long-term stability for the off-leash area program. In 1997, COLA entered into a formal agreement with the City of Seattle to share the responsibility of maintaining current off-leash sites and creating new ones.
Since 1997, COLA has grown to become a primary point of contact for public officials, media, community groups, dog owners and even cities across the country regarding off-leash and other dog-related issues. Please visit the COLA Website for more information.
Fundraising Purpose & Objectives
Seattle is growing rapidly, and with it, our dog population. At the same time city departments such as Parks and Recreation are drastically cutting budgets. These events place increasingly large financial burdens on COLA. Examples of the kinds of projects that COLA has recently undertaken are below.
• Hosting Dog-O-Ween, Oct. 22, 2011; 11-2:30pm
• We welcome our newest partners Friends of Magnolia Manor Park
• As part of FMMP, chose landscape architect and held public meetings for Concept Design in Spring 2011
• As part of FMMP, new grant for Design & Development documents: 21,000 sq. ft. OLA
• Fundraising drive to fund gap money for adequately sized OLA
• Construction target: June 2012
Lower Kinnear Park (OLA in development)
• Already formed Upper (and Lower) Kinnear user group
• Participated in design workshop for park & OLA
• Forming stewardship group
• Construction target: Spring 2012
Dr. Jose Rizal Park
• Seattle Parks Department has been working hard to improve this site to make it more feasible to the community
• What they have created is a beautiful orchard garden, new bike trail through the park, and downsized the dog park making it more manageable
• Looking for a new Steward
• Opening during October if all work gets completed.
• Wide rectangular field, perfect for throwing tennis balls
• Art sculptures through out the park making a unique off leash area
• Attractive Blue Dog mascot for the park, loves your visits
• Decreased blackberries in park mowed down by goats!
Golden Gardens Park
• You can run and play with other dogs in this wide enclosure.
• This park has benches and restrooms, which is unique to many other off leash areas
• Constant work on the erosion problems. Plants have been planted to help absorb the water and improve this problem. This challenge requires both steward and crew chief to monitor this challenge.
• Several work parties a year to maintain the gravel beauty of 3.2 acres
• Acres completely fenced in with double gated entrance
• Park is always good place for using a “Chuker”
• Grass and gravel surfacing.
North Acres Park
• Monthly Work Parties
• Annual Fundraiser
• Great Volunteer Turn Out & Park User support with Maintenance & Donations
• Our ‘jewel’.
This past year at Woodland's off leash park we have enjoyed several hundred (if not thousands) of great canine and human visitors. We have a great crew of daily visitors who take it upon themselves to keep the park a clean and safe environment for all to enjoy. We've been holding our work parties the first Saturday of every other (odd numbered) month, so if you enjoy the dog park at Woodland please come and be a part of our ongoing project.
• Moving forward to improve location by replacing surface and working with parks department, along with SDOT to complete tasks
• Looking for new Steward.
• Community got together to finish mural
• Flower gardens everywhere look great
• 4 work parties a year
• Art wall completed, now accepting your dogs photo for the wall
• Our ‘downtown’ park.
• Seattle’s first site for goats coming to control the slope of blackberries. This has cleaned up the park for the past 3 years. Great job Seattle Parks Department.
• Plymouth Pillars Urban Vision Garden ground break 2012-2013, upon approval of neighborhood matching grant program
• Music Concert series at the Pillars
• 1,000 dog members to our dog garden
• Growing community.
• Successful work parties
• Annual BBQ fundraisers
• One of our most well-supported parks