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Kirkland News Room

Getting Outside with Pets

How to help keep parks enjoyable for all

Contact: Jason Filan
Parks & Community Services

KIRKLAND, Wash. – The spring bloom draws many City residents outside to enjoy the numerous parks and trails throughout the City. For pet owners, the shifting seasons means more opportunities for spending time outside with their pets. To ensure that City parks are enjoyable for all users, pet owners should keep a few things in mind when they bring along their pets.

“Letting a pet roam off-leash may seem supportive of a pet’s natural curiosity or exercise needs,” said Lynn Zwaagstra, Director of Parks and Community Services for the City.  “Unfortunately, even friendly dogs can appear intimidating or frightening when off-leash and interacting with other park users, especially children. Off-leash pets sometimes behave differently around leashed pets or wild animals, resulting in situations that could potentially be harmful for pets, humans, or other animals.” 

For these and other reasons, the City requires that all dogs be leashed except for designated off leash areas. Jasper’s Dog Park is one such area. Located at the Heronfield Wetlands, Jasper’s Dog Park is a great resource for dog owners who want to give their dogs off leash play and Heronfield Wetlands exercise.

Unless otherwise posted, leashed pets are welcome in most City parks. However, pets are not allowed on ball fields. Ball fields receive heavy and concentrated usage, particularly by City children. Keeping those areas free of pet waste and disturbance supports the health and enjoyment of children’s sports activities.

“We rely on our community to help us make a safe and welcoming environment for all park users,” Zwaagstra said. “Please do your part by picking up your pet’s waste and keeping pets on leash. Together we can make the City’s parks the place to be.”