"Friends of Jose Rizal Off-Leash Area"
Decision Made by Parks Superintendent
How To Get There
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Map of Earlier Plan for Off-Leash Area (2001)

We asked for a sign and lo and behold here it is!
FLASH - better official sign going up 1/26/12

Amazing map of bike trail

Read About the "Mountains-to-Sound Trail"



COLA website

Seattle Parks Department

Seattle Times 11.7.11

Seattle Times online 11.8.11

Seattle Times online 11.10.11


The fencing along 12th Avenue is down - beware - site is unsafe because dogs can escape. Signage to that effect is not up yet to warn people.

An undisclosed amount of money has been allocated to improvements at the Jose Rizal Off-Leash Area from Parks' "Opportunity Fund." These funds are much sought after. Work has already begun. We hear that the steep stairs going down from 12th Avenue will be upgraded; a "turn-around" for Parks utility trucks will be built so garbage can be removed by vehicle; ADA access from the bike trail will be going in plus the split rail fencing will be replaced. It is unclear what is to happen about drainage and blackberry problems that make visiting the site problematic.

Recent precipitation has rendered footing quite slippery.

The multi-use trail that runs alongside the off-leash area is now open for business! The lights are on. Off-leash Attendance at is up.

The decision came down Wednesday 10/26/11 from Parks Acting Superintendent, Christopher Williams, to keep the approximate 4 acres of off-leash space. (See "Decision Made" link, above left.) The fruit trees have been fenced off and a buffer separates the OLA from the trail. The City very generously toiled over design and found some extra footage to preserve the 4 acres after fencing off three patches of fruit trees. This means dog owners will have the kind of spaceousness they need in which to successfully exercise and socialize their dogs. This is a major win for all citizens in favor of getting dogs under control and a tremendous piece of canine infrastructure for Beacon Hill and beyond. Thanks to supporters. You salvaged the off-leash area! Your support will need to be ongoing if we are to keep this site robust. 

Police have been seen on bikes patrolling the trail. They are nearby. If you see any suspicious activity don't hesitate to call the police at 911 or their non-emergency number - 625-5011. They want us to be their eyes and ears so they can catch the bad guy. Anyone heading underneath the freeway is suspect since there have been various illicit activities there. 

Ms. Kramer of the Parks Department acknowledged at the annual COLA meeting that the off-leash program has been getting short shrift in terms of maintenance. She says she’s working on it. Visibility from 12th has been improved. She explained that one of the reasons you have to have a buffer between the off-leash area and the bike trail is to prevent tennis balls from flying out and causing bike accidents. 



Salient facts: According to the Humane Society dog owners represent almost 40% of the population. The other 60% is impacted by our dogs’ behaviors. We have arguably 240,000 dog owners in Seattle with at least 275,000 dogs and population is on the rise. According to Department of Neighborhood Statistics this means another 72,000 dog owners with at least another 83,000 dogs by 2031. This city has more park land than most cities and yet allocates only .4% - that's point four percent - of it to off-leash area use.

 Serve our 

off-leash area!

Consider volunteering to help maintain and improve the dog park.





1008 12th Avenue, S. 

last updated 1/27/12

Hello, fellow Jose Rizal Off-Leash Area users. As you know the Parks Department was proposing to reduce the size of the off-leash area from its original size - 5.134 acres - down to around 2.05. The installation of the new multi-use trail alongside the dog park has wiped out the site's west boundary forcing the question of how to set up fencing. Parks took the opportunity to propose changes. After a loud response from the community and a couple of creative retoolings the plan is now back to the 4 acres the community had expressed desire for!

The Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) is the agency charged with being the interface between the dog owners and city government.

There had been some doubt about the existence of a community of dog owners actively using the dog park. The "Friends of Jose Rizal Off-Leash Area" has reached out to COLA and made it clear they want to keep this site 4 acres.

COLA has a mission "to establish, maintain and oversee" Seattle's off-leash areas and to provide "structure through which individuals may volunteer their time and resources for the attainment of" this goal.

If anyone would be interested in serving as a COLA steward at the Jose Off-Leash Area please contact me via the guestbook below.

The recent advent of the Mountains-to-Sound Trail extension next to the off-leash area  promises to discourage illicit activity and make people feel more safe. The trail will be lit at night and is wide so police units on bikes can ride by routinely and monitor the site. The cops are nearby and can be reached via 911.

CraigThompson, longtime Beacon Hill resident who stewards the Jose urban forest, says, "When we get bicycle commuters coming through the Jungle* on the Greenway Trail this will not be an attractive place for criminals."** 

Police tell me that - outside of bullets - there is no greater deterrent to crime than off-leash dogs.

The City recently brought in tractor mowers and cleared out vast amounts of underbrush, creating all this new space. I hear  that  the aspen saplings will be cut down soon, so we can experience what it's like to have even more room. Major cuts in the Parks Department budget leave open the question of maintenance at Jose. 

An earlier plan called for a 20 acre off-leash area running all the way down to Holgate. If anyone would like to share their knowledge of the history of the park, please send it. See map (above, right) for a glimpse of the earlier vision for the Jose Rizal off-leash area.

                                                                               Frieda Adams

                                                                               COLA steward wannabe

*"The large forested greenbelt running from just below the Amazon.com building, south along the west side of Beacon Hill for almost 2 miles"

Your information is private and will not be shown to anyone except COLA or City officials just to show there is interest. Your  comments and links would be appreciated.




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