In January, after months of hearing frustration from neighbors about issues surrounding off-leash dogs in Woodlawn, your Woodlawn Neighborhood Association held a forum to talk about possible solutions. The notes from that conversation can be found here.

A work group that formed as a result of the forum determined that having some sort of legal, off-leash area at Woodlawn Park would fill a need for dog owners and encourage lawful behavior while providing consistency and safety for neighbors at and near the park. That work group has shared three proposals for feedback from YOU, Woodlawn’s residents.

Please note that there will be a separate city-led public process if and when any of these proposals move forward to Portland Parks. This is not your only chance to weigh in overall. This is your chance to help inform the work group as they pursue a solution and potentially forward a proposal to Portland Parks.

Also, please note that the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association has NOT taken a position on any of these proposals. We may choose to do so based on feedback from you, our neighbors and association members.

To provide feedback on the three proposals, please email your thoughts to woodlawn-dogs@googlegroups.com.

The three proposals resulting from a 3-month work group process are:

1. Off-Leash Area NORTH of the bridge – The MAP indicates this whole area, but a written descriptions says as follows: “Unfenced Off-Leash Area, with or without set off-leash hours,” located North of the Claremont Bridge, northeast of the spray park, NOT including the baseball diamond, bounded on the east by NE 13th Avenue. This area is commonly referred to be neighbors as “The Bowl.”

2. A Fenced Off-Leash Area in the SOUTHWESTERN portion of the park – MAP – Written description: “Fenced Off-Leash Area at Woodlawn Park. The Off-Leash Area will make use of the south-west corner of the park, with proper set-backs along the sidewalk at NE Dekum and the existing pathways that border the area.”

3. A Fenced Off-Leash Area NORTHEAST of the bridge –  MAP  – Written description: “Fenced Off-Leash Area at Woodlawn Park. The Off-Leash Area will make use of the area near “The Bowl,” north of the Spray Ground play area, adjacent to the eastern-most path on the north side of the park.”

Again, to provide feedback on the three proposals, please email your thoughts to woodlawn-dogs@googlegroups.com.



In related news, Portland Public Schools released the following story last week:

Dog owners asked to “Keep Schoolyards Safe & Healthy”

April 01, 2014
The goal of the campaign is to keep playgrounds safe and healthy.
Dogs may love playgrounds and ball fields as much as kids, but Portland Public Schools wants to remind dog owners to leash pets and scoop and remove pet waste to keep schoolyards safe and healthy.

Although Multnomah County and the City of Portland have codes and ordinances that forbid dogs from being off leash, many dog owners disobey the law.

PPS for years has received dozens of complaints about dogs running off leash at schools across the city.

On April 1, Portland Public Schools, Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau and Multnomah County Animal Services launched a Spring education and enforcement campaign that aims to increase dog owner law compliance.

Throughout April, dog owners will be reminded to leash pets and scoop poop on school grounds because it’s the law. In May, targeted enforcement will be conducted at three PPS schools — Beach, da Vinci and Duniway — where leash law violations are a chronic problem.

Dog owners will be fined up to $150 for not leashing pets and for failing to clean up and remove animal waste.

To report dogs off leash on school grounds, contact Multnomah County Animal Services. The Portland Parks and Recreation Bureau, which operates more than30 off-leash dog parks across the city, issued 110 citations for dog owners violating the leash law after the fines went into effect last year.

Please help spread the word about the law and keep our schoolyards, ball fields and playgrounds safe and healthy!


13 Responses to “Seeking YOUR input on Woodlawn Park proposals – and other dog-related news”
  1. Peter Silverman says:

    I would love to see an off-leash area in the park. Except during warm summer days, the largest group of park users is dog owners. and I think it makes little sense to discourage them from using the park, much less fine people $150 for playing fetch.

    I particularly like the idea of a fenced area in the southwest part of the park. A fenced area will give people a chance to run their dogs without bothering people who don’t want to be around unleashed dogs. It would also remove the attractiveness of the schoolyard as an off-leash area, since at the moment the schoolyard is the safest place to run a dog since it is (mostly) fenced and there is less risk of a dog getting run over than anywhere in the park. Once there is a fully fenced area within the park there should be no reason to run dogs in the schoolyard.

  2. James says:

    An off leash area at the park would be fantastic!!! The biggest complaint that I’ve heard about off leash dogs is from people who are worried about dog poop. I totally understand, but the people who don’t pick after their dogs won’t do it if their do is on leash, or off. I don’t feel that it’s fair to say people should be fined for having a well mannered, voice controlled, dog off leash.

  3. […] Check out options presented by work group and provide input by clicking here […]

  4. Nola Silverman says:

    As owner/mama of two 8 month old coon hounds, I am fully in favor of proposal 2 – a fenced area of Woodlawn Park which is far removed from the playground and ball field. This area is currently nearly unused, and is a great spot for dogs if fenced (it is too close to Dekum St for dogs to be unfenced).
    I have found friendships and community at the park through our shared interest in dogs, whereas I don’t have young children and haven’t played baseball or basketball in nearly 50 years. For me, and quite a lot of dog owners, this is the way we would like to engage with our neighbors and share our community resource. I fully understand and respect my neighbors’ concerns about unleashed dogs, however, and feel a fenced area is the most fair solution.
    I realize there are a couple of great unfenced areas a short drive away, but my dogs cannot be trusted yet in areas where they might run into a busy street and both Alberta Park and Fernhill have that problem. I know there are other owners who agree that those areas are not safe for their dogs. It would be great to have one park with a fenced, safe area that is nearby.

  5. Peter Silverman says:

    I like proposal #2. Because it will be fenced, I won’t have to worry about my dogs getting run over or bothering other people.

  6. Lisa says:

    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/456643 outlines the application process –

    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/151189 outlines the siting considerations

  7. Carl says:

    Hello Woodlawn,

    I am in favor of an fence-less off-leashed dog area but with strict hours. I believe that if we organize the organic community of dog owners to adhere to hours when the park is not in full use (evening and morning) with corresponding signage we could eliminate the confusion and conflict with other park uses. Also , this method would be low cost and could be adjusted with seasons and events . We could also have dog park stewards who could replenish dog bag dispensers and waste removal.

  8. Jim Petersen says:

    I would like to see a fenced off-leash dog park for Proposal #2. This seem to be the most logical replacement for the fenced Woodlawn School Playground. Our dog likes to run far and fast but he also has a nasty habit of randomly chasing runners, joggers, bicyclers, and sometimes cars. The shock collar, we have sometimes used, does make him very obedient, but never as playful. A fence will be a better alternative because then he and his humans would then be able to socialize and exercise with other dogs and neighbors in a controlled limited area. One other thing about a fenced off-leash area is that children, parents, and others would not have strange dogs running up to them. As a long time neighbor to many, I will gladly volunteer time and talent to help make a fenced area a reality. Thank you.

  9. Haidee Alvarez says:

    I am a home and dog owner whose home backs directly onto Woodlawn Park. I am supporting proposal #1; this seems to be the less expensive and less intrusive of the three proposals for those residents who live within close proximity to Woodlawn.
    Proposal #2 backs up directly to my home, and noise, smell and ongoing barking dogs are a huge concern.
    Proposal #3 is closer to “areas that are routinely used by children and users of the ball field”…my yard is routinely used by me….this should also be considered. If you “would like to find a solution that enables all neighbors to use the park” please do not do this at the expense of some residents.
    I truly feel that this is about accountability…why not hold those irresponsible dog owners accountable? Portland has many dog parks. Do we really need another? If it is deemed necessary that we do need one for the Woodlawn area, then please consider the entire picture, not just the ones of those who continuously break the rules.

  10. ChristySplitt says:

    As a member of the board, I was asked to submit the following comment from a neighbor that does not use internet:

    “We accuse proponents of an off-leash site in Woodlawn Park of short-sighted self-interest. The variety of uses our park has — from movies & concerts to frisbee matches, picnics, weddings, softball and tai chi — makes it a very unlikely candidate for an off-leash site. We are bordered by an elementary school and are used frequently by day-cares.”

    “In 2013 there were seven (identified) cases of human e-coli 0157 as a result of exposure to airborne animal waste in dog parks. E-coli 0157 is particularly dangerous to the young and can cause kidney failure.”

    “In addition dog parks are known for outbreaks of dog diseases – including canine flu, respiratory problems, circo virus and parvo virus.”

    “With 33 off-leash areas available to dog-owners in the Portland Parks system, we feel there is no need to subject the users of Woodlawn Park to the above hazards.”

  11. ChristySplitt says:

    As a member of the board who handles our social media and blog, I was asked to submit this: http://www.doodycalls.com/media/2009.July.Parks&Recreation.pdf.

  12. Andrea Riner says:

    I am a homeowner in the area, an immediate neighbor, and a frequent user of the park. I am also a dog owner.

    I feel that Woodlawn Park is too small to have an area dedicated entirely to dogs off-leash. If it is fenced off, that is all it can be used for. There are several off-leash dog parks in the general vicinity, although no fenced dog parks are within walking distance. I also don’t think that one side of a dog park should be shared with residents back fences. I would think that wouldn’t meet standard design guidelines for dog parks.

    I support Proposal #1 in general (the large bowl area on the north side of the park). I think it would be best as an unfenced area that allows dogs off-leash only during specific times of day or days of the week. The times should be to minimize user conflicts, ensure safety, and be as fair as possible.

    I’d also like to see a nice park structure/bulletin board that can be used by the neighborhood to help with user education, meeting notices, events, etc.

  13. Dean Brenne says:

    I have a smaller dog and walk in the park daily. I do not want a dog park that will attract more dogs and create more problems. The site at corner of Dekum Street would be the worst. Next to people waiting for the bus and a eye sore from Dekum Street.