The Edmonds City Council in June approved an updated city code on a trial basis that expands the areas where you can take your dogs in city parks. The bottom line: Although dog owners now have more options, dogs in parks must remain on a leash and in the owner’s control.
“Here in Edmonds we do not have a significant dog enforcement team and appreciate the efforts of dog owners to self-police,” the city said in an announcement. In addition to expanding opportunities for pet owners, the parks crew will be installing additional dog waste stations in parks, the city said.
Note that per Edmonds animal control: leashes must be no longer than 8 feet and have a person capable of controlling the animal at the other end.
Want to know exactly what has changed? Here’s a Q&A with Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite.
Q: What is the biggest change?
A: You can now walk your dog along the waterfront pathway all the way from Bracketts Landing North to Marina Beach Park. You now no longer have to detour around Marina Beach to get to the off-leash dog park. Also, you may take your dog (on a leash) into parks provided you keep them off of athletic fields (soccer, baseball, etc.) playgrounds and the spray park.
Q: Can I take my dog to the Frances Anderson Center playfields?
A: Dogs are not allowed on athletic fields or playgrounds which essentially eliminates most of the Frances Anderson outdoor play area with the exception of the grass hillside and sidelines of the athletic fields.
Q: Can I take my dog to Civic Park?
A: Yes, you can walk your dog on leash at Civic Park; please keep them off of the baseball field, soccer field and playground. Say hello to the geese for us.
Q: Can I take my dog onto the beach?
A: Only in the off-leash dog park. Our beaches are marine wildlife sanctuaries and are off limits for dogs. We appreciate your support keeping all wildlife safe.
Q: Can I take my dog onto the fishing pier?
A: No animals are allowed to enter or remain on the fishing pier unless they are service animals being used by persons needing an accommodation for the purpose of aiding them going from place to place.
Q: Can I take my dog with me to my kids’ game?
A: Yes, you can have your dog with you on the sidelines provided you do not allow them onto the athletic field.
Q: I have children who are very afraid of dogs; where can I take them that will not have dogs?
A: Dogs have and will continue to be prohibited from all playgrounds (and the spray park) for this very reason. We want to keep the kids safe (and sanitary).
Q: Are dogs allowed at special events such as the Arts Festival, Summer Market, Taste, etc.?
A: Each of these events lease space from the city and are authorized to establish and enforce their own rules with regards to dogs provided they do not allow them onto playgrounds and that they remove all dog waste from fields at the conclusion of the event. This includes special events held at the Frances Anderson Center. Events are authorized to determine whether or not they will allow dogs on the fields during such events provided they abide by the rules stated above.
Q: Can I play fetch with my dog on fields?
A: You can do that at our off-leash park at Marina Beach; all other Parks require you to keep your pup on a leash.
Q: Can I take my dog onto school grounds/fields?
A: Yes, as long as you abide by the school district signs at each location.
Q: What do I do if I see someone violating the dog rules?
A: The Beach Rangers will be patrolling our beaches this summer and reminding dog owners to keep their pets off of the beach. In addition, Edmonds has two animal control officers and while they are great, they cannot be in every park at the same time. We ask that dog owners support our efforts in self-policing each other to the extent you feel comfortable. If at any time you feel threatened, or unsafe around an animal (any animal) call 911.
Q: Many of the parks have signs or stencils on the ground stating No Dogs Allowed; will those be removed?
A: Yes, we are working to update the signage in parks to reflect the new rules and to install more doggie waste stations in our parks this summer.
In summary, we hope you enjoy walking your dogs along our many trails and open spaces. Please keep them off of the play areas and clean up after your four-legged friends.