Parks and Rec to hold public meeting on possible dog park

Photo by Adam Lapierre.

Hood Riverites love their dogs — so much so, in fact, that if things go as planned, Fido, Spot, and Rover may get their very own public park.

Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District will be holding a public meeting July 29 to discuss the community’s needs and possible locations for a dog park proposed for siting somewhere within the city of Hood River.

According to HRVPRD Director Lori Stirn, dog parks provide a fenced-in area where owners can bring their dogs to romp and run around off-leash without fear of the animals running away and violating local ordinances that prohibit “dogs at large.” Stirn said dog parks have other benefits as well, allowing dogs — and humans — a place to socialize, reducing problem behaviors in pets, and providing seniors and people with disabilities an accessible place to exercise their pets.

Hood River Mayor Arthur Babitz said currently, the city does not have an official dog park to his knowledge, although he noted Friendship Park, located at the corner of 18th Street and Taylor Avenue, has been called “a de facto dog park.” Babitz added the city has previously entertained proposals to develop a dog park in between the Hook basin and the wastewater treatment plant on Port of Hood River property, but the proposal did not move forward.

That property is one of two HRVPRD is currently interested in as possible sites. The other would be the vacant lot adjacent to Pacific Power’s Union Street substation.

Stirn says there are benefits and drawbacks to both. The site near the Hook has access to the river, but parking would be an issue, according to Stirn. The location near the substation is closer to residential areas, as opposed to the port, but would not have river access. Moreover, the city’s ongoing sewer lift station project, located directly next door to the substation, would require setbacks for the dog park and reduce its size, although Stirn believed there is “still a considerable amount of open space” available for the dog park.

Stirn said the money for the project would come via funds from System Development Charges, the HRVPRD general fund, donations, and possibly grants in the future. She mentioned that Hood River Rotary has expressed interest in helping move the dog park forward.

Brian Becker, one of the lead proponents of the project, believes a dog park is long overdue for Hood River and hopes HRVPRD can develop something that will be on the level with successful dog parks in other Oregon cities.

“I’ve been very encouraged by what I’ve heard anecdotally from other dog owners in town about the desire to have an off-leash park,” he said in an email. “Dogs need opportunities to exercise and socialize, as do people. And we have a lot of dogs in town. Not having an off-leash park for dogs and their owners to recreate seems like a missed opportunity for Hood River. I am hopeful that Hood River can follow the example of other ‘destination towns’ like Bend and Ashland, which have done a great job with their off-leash parks.”

HRVPRD is looking for other suggestions besides the substation and the Hook sites for a dog park and invites the public to attend a meeting, Tuesday, July 29 at 6 p.m. at the Ty Taylor Fire Station Community Room at 1785 Meyer Parkway in Hood River to “form a committee to help identify possible properties and elements” associated with developing the dog park. For more information, contact Lori Stirn at 386-5720, or Brian Becker at or comment on the dog park’s Facebook page at

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Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge


shadowjade says...

Depends. Will it improve or reduce leash usage in other locations?

Posted 29 July 2014, 6:37 p.m. Suggest removal

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