Pet Waste to be Flagged in City Parks as a Reminder to Scoop the Poop

Published on February 18, 2021

Two bernease mountain dogs standing side by side

Media Contact:                                                  
Joy Johnston
Interim Communications Program Manager


KIRKLAND, Wash. – Starting Thursday, February 18, 2021, hundreds of brightly colored flags will be appearing at two Kirkland parks as part of the City of Kirkland’s campaign to encourage dog owners to scoop and throw away dog waste. Visitors to Juanita Beach Park and Peter Kirk Park will notice bright yellow survey flags indicating where un-scooped dog poop was discovered during a four-week observation period in January and February.

Recently, City volunteers marked 96 instances of un-scooped poop in four weeks on the north side of Juanita Beach Park near the ballfields. Meanwhile, Park staff counted 136 cases at Peter Kirk Park in downtown Kirkland over a three-week period. 

Kirkland’s estimated 20,000 dogs generate almost 6,000 pounds of dog poop every day. Dog poop contains harmful bacteria and germs that can spread disease to other dogs and wildlife. When it rains, dog poop washes away to the nearest storm drain, stream, creek, or lake. The bacteria in dog poop can harm water quality and can make places to swim and play unsafe. Juanita Beach Park and Peter Kirk Park are two of Kirkland’s most heavily used park areas. Un-scooped pet waste can also spoil park experiences for children and families seeking to enjoy Kirkland’s playgrounds, ballfields, and open spaces.

“The easiest and most effective way to prevent the spread of disease and water pollution is to scoop the poop, bag it, and put it in the trash,” said Kirkland City Councilmember Jon Pascal. “The City provides education and resources such as poop bag dispensers and encourages compliance with the scoop law. We are asking community members to do their part and clean up after their pets.”

Residents and park visitors may remember a similar yellow flag campaign carried out in Fall of 2019. That campaign helped to reduce un-scooped pet waste by 80 percent in the six months following the outreach efforts. City staff hope a similar reduction will be achieved with this renewed effort.

City volunteers and staff will continue to monitor these areas to see if outreach efforts lead to a decrease in un-scooped dog waste in the two parks. Flags and signage were funded through a grant from the King Conservation District to help improve water quality.

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