COOS BAY -- A new effort to create a dog park in the Coos Bay/North Bend area has all four paws on the ground.

What began as his own question about why there isn't a dog park turned into a grassroots effort to create one, said Bill Davis, the group's de facto spokesman. About 35 people attended the group's first meeting, said Davis, who owns two dogs. A second meeting was held Friday, and Davis has spoken at both a City Council and a Parks Commission meeting.

The idea of a dog park was tossed around a few years ago without success. The new group is working to raise awareness and support for the idea. The park would be fenced to allow dogs to run unfettered, and a smaller fenced area could provide safety for small dogs. Rules would be posted at the gate, and dog owners would take on personal responsibility.

None of the parcels suggested during the previous effort panned out, either because of topography or because of neighbors' concerns, said Jim Hossley, the city's Public Works and Development director. Two years ago, the City Council offered $25,000 in seed money to any people willing to make up the difference necessary to put together a park. No one stepped up, Hossley said, but that doesn't meant this group couldn't convince the council to extend support again. 'But at this point there are no funds available," he said.

Dog parks also are slated to be part of the conversation for a master parks plan, Hossley said. The Parks Commission is at the beginning of the process, and Hossley estimated it will take months to complete and will include extensive public input.

Davis said the group is ready to work with the city no matter how long it takes to accomplish the goal.

'Yeah, it might take a little while," he said.

'But I didn't get the impression that that was going to stop anybody from wanting to go forward with it," he added.

One possible location is a narrow parcel of about an acre near the main entrance to John Topits Park, Hossley said. But it's less than ideal, because it's covered in trees and brush and might need fill dirt.

Davis said his group is open to any location in Coos Bay or North Bend. Using a portion of an existing park or even private land are all possibilities, he said.

A safe place for dogs to run would affect more than just dogs, said Isabelle Davis, Bill Davis' wife.

People traveling with dogs want a place to let them run, she said.

'If we want to push tourism, a dog park is an asset," she said.

Neighborhoods could see fewer stray dogs, too. 'If the dogs are in a fenced play area, they're not on your street," she said.

The Davises acknow-ledged that a few issues will need resolving, including maintenance and the clean-up and disposal of dog waste.

'The biggest problem is that people will have to pick up after their dogs," Bill Davis said.

The less people clean up after their dogs, the more time city employees will have to spend maintaining the park, taking away from maintenance on other parks, Hossley said. Regardless, another park means more maintenance, and expenditures, he added.

An association of volunteers could help with some of the long-term maintenance and costs, Isabelle Davis said.

For more information, email bayareadogpark@ yahoo.com or find the group on Facebook.

Reporter Alice Campbell can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or at acampbell@theworldlink. com.

(5) comments

GoodGrief

Well, the city gave the Harley Davidson shop $25,000 to dress up their windows, so I think they should help out here. More people and dogs will enjoy a park over the number of people enjoying the windows of the motorcycle shop.

StaceyJ

I think a dog park in CB/NB is a great idea. Now all of the idiots that let their dogs use the childrens play areas to wander around & go to the bathroom at our local parks will have no excuses when shown the huge "No Dogs" signs that they pretend not to see every day.

willibus

I would love to see a dog park in the Bay Area. It doesn't have to be huge. What about where the Firehouse used to be? It's just off 101 for travelers and there aren't any homes there. Parking is a little inconvenient, but it's grassy and would be easy to fence into smaller areas. An area for less friendly dogs would be nice too - where they can be off leash alone. It might encourage more people to come downtown. Add a park bench and access to some water for the dogs and cleaning shoes.

gemsinger

its entirely feasible to have a dog park...and the cost can be less just as ours was and continues to be in Coquille.
talk to Linda Short and the Dog Park comittee folks in Coquille for how to do it!

SWIGGINMYNUTS

Hey we could have a dog sitter at the park for drop off service when going to the grocery store. Then I will no longer need to carry Ex-Lax Dog Biscuits when walking the Walmart parking lot...

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.