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Edmonds Off-Leash Dog Park a Howling Success

Additions, including fencing, parking, water and removal of brush, makes it one of the most popular in Puget Sound. Coming soon: An obstacle course.

If you haven’t visited the off-leash area dog park in Edmonds recently, you might be surprised at the changes.

Back in the day, the canine playground next to Marina Beach Park was a jumble of trees, scotch grass and foxtail, the latter two which can be harmful to pets. Today, after tons of grass have been carted away  and new fences and signage added, among other amenities, the dog park is packing them in.

And, because the park’s so popular, additional parking has been added where the land portion of the Unocal oil pier used to be.

The renovation is due mostly to the volunteer efforts of Off Leash Area Edmonds (OLAE), a nonprofit group started in 2005 by B.B. Grande, Corinne Beuchet, Lori Parson and Diane Buckshnis, the latter a current member of the Edmonds City Council.

Many of the improvements have come as a result of local Boy Scout groups. Kevin Govan from Boy Scout Troop 312 added the double gated entry system; Danny Prall and Boy Scout Troop 319 added two plastic bag dispensers; and Lynnwood Pack 363 installed educational bulletin boards.

Another community member, Matt Corwin, donated two discarded fire hydrants, which were painted red and installed in the park. They seem to be popular with the dogs.

Instead of packing in water for their pets, owners can now let their dogs drink at a water fountain for dogs only that was installed by the city of Edmonds. OLAE also worked with the city for the removal of refuse in garbage cans 

To be added in October is a dog agility course, a Eagle Scout project from Alex Young of Troop 312. It will include a teeter board, tunnel, jumps, weave poles and more.

OLAE currently has about 150 volunteers, said Buckshnis, and is always looking for more. Volunteers will be on hand on Oct. 15 during the organization’s annual Halloween Howl, where T-shirts will also be on sale. There will also be raffles and a silent auction.

Buckshnis is proud of how popular the off-leash park has become and how it’s one of the most popular in Puget Sound. “It’s all due to the volunteers,” she said. “They are here to keep it clean and remind people to clean up after their dogs.”

Buckshnis, who has two dogs of her own, certainly has done her share of cleaning up. “When I go to heaven,” she says, “I hope I won’t have to clean up poop anymore.”

bigken August 19, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Great Job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Larry Vogel August 20, 2011 at 12:52 AM
My two Schipperkes love the dog park, especially at low tide. When the minus tides hit (minus 1 is fine, but -2 and -3 are great!) the offshore sand bar is exposed. It's soft, and real treat for human feet and doggie paws. A great change from the rocky beach above. Next minus tides will be the last weekend of August, but they won't be extreme.
Dan Kerege August 20, 2011 at 06:12 AM
We need to have more information on the fate of the dog park when/if the Edmonds Crossing Project proceeds. The current plan is to "daylight" Willow Creek, currently in a pipe running under Marina Beach Park, right through the dog park. Bad idea. Why not run the creek through Marina Beach Park with little bridges over it & signage telling about it supposedly being a salmon run? A school field trip waiting to happen. My two Schipperkes also love the dog park, I have been going there for over 10 years and was a member of the volunteer group that preceeded OLAE. OLAE has done a fine job.
Diane B August 22, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Dear Dan, We have the daylighting of Willow Creek on our radar and it will not go down the center of the park. If and when it happens, it will probably run along the east fence and fencing will be put up when the salmon spawn like at Magneson Park. The City would not allow us to put all this money into the park, if they didn't think we were doing a good job stewarding it. This next project is our FOURTH boy scout Eagle Project and for a non-profit that started just six years ago...that is a pretty good record.
Diane B August 22, 2011 at 04:18 PM
P.S. Great story Brian...however, when we removed debris...we did NOT cut down any trees...we had scotchbroom that were as big as trees. Yes Dan was one of the volunteer originators along with B.B. and Corinne (Coco) and these volunteers provided garbage removal, garbage cans and water.
Brian Soergel August 22, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Diane, i fixed the mention about trees.
Diane B August 23, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Thanks Brian..great article...I can hardly wait to get home and see if we received new members. Cheers!

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