Parks dog days may be numbered

first_img • Ross Off-Leash Dog Recreation Area, Northeast Ross Street and 18th Avenue. Features: Waste disposal stations, hilly terrain, trail, separate small dog area.• Dakota Memorial Dog Park at Pacific Community Park, Northeast 18th Street and 164th Avenue. Features: Water, rinse-off area, agility course, perimeter trail, separate small dog area.• Lucky Memorial Dog Park, Northeast 149th Street and 101st Place, Brush Prairie. Features: Water, separate small dog area with trail, flat terrain.• Kane Memorial Dog Park at Hockinson Meadows Community Park, 10910 N.E. 172nd Ave. Features: Open and forested areas, water, trail.• Stevenson Off-Leash Area, 2801 Addy St., Washougal. Features: Separate small dog area, trail, water, agility logs.For maps and more visit http://www.clarkdogpaw.org.Most mornings, he lets the dogs out.It’s become a cherished part of David Clarke’s daily routine — letting his two energetic pups loose in Washougal’s seven-acre Stevenson Off-Leash Dog Area.Clarke’s been bringing his “fur children” to the undeveloped-private property-turned-makeshift park — complete with separate areas for large and small pooches and a doggy drinking fountain — for about as long as they’ve been alive. While 3-year-old Lakota and 2-year-old Chinook freely frolic with four-legged friends, the park’s volunteer manager socializes with other dog people who have also made early morning outings a ritual.“It’s wonderful for the dogs. And the people make friends, too,” Clarke said.But he and others have lingering feelings the park’s dog days may be numbered, especially now that the fenced property at 2801 Addy St. and surrounding land was purchased for $7.08 million from the Stevenson family by a prominent developer intent on seeing the town of nearly 15,000 transformed into a true “gateway to the Gorge.”Developer Wes Hickey said there are no plans at this time to close the off-leash area, opened in 2009 and maintained by Clark County’s all-volunteer nonprofit DOGPAW (Dog Owners Group for Park Access in Washington) with help from the city of Washougal. He’s not a dog owner, so he’s never used the park. Just as she does most mornings, Bonnie Turnbow walks her dogs Zoe and Beijing at the Stevenson Off-Leash Dog Area in Washougal. The private land was recently sold to a commercial developer and park patrons worry the sale could mean an end to the open space.last_img

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