A big KDOG thank you to those who attended the City Council-Park Board study session at Kirkland City Hall last night â€“ what a great turn out!Â Our groupÂ spilled out of the meeting room and into the foyer; awesome attendance.Â Thanks also to those who wrote letters to the City Council, attended City Council meetings, spoke before the City Council or recruited others to speak or write letters. Â Iâ€™m happy toÂ report that your hard work had a positive impact.
One thing is for certain, we were disappointed that Jean couldnâ€™t witness the outcome of last nightâ€™s study session real-time and in personÂ (sheâ€™s half way around the world), but Amy gave a report to her via cyberspace.Â For others who couldnâ€™t attend, Iâ€™m sorry you missed it. Â It was the most encouraging and upliftingÂ meeting Iâ€™ve attended at Kirkland City Hall on our favorite topic, ever (okay, 13 years of ever in my experience).
The Park Board put two proposals before the City Council for off-leash dog recreation in Kirkland: (1) a full-time designated off-leash area at the â€śSchott property,â€ť a 1.5 acre parcel adjacent to the Heronfield Wetlands in northeast Juanita, and (2) off-leash use of existing park spaces during limited hours (spaces to be identified at a future point in time and only with the support of relevant neighborhood associations).Â The City Council members were quite supportive of these proposals, citing some prerequisites and concern about comprehensive maintenance plans (where KDOG comes in) and potentially taking on too much by focusing on both proposals simultaneously.Â Council members were in agreement that the first proposal for designated space should be fast-trackedÂ and that both proposals would need to be implemented as pilots (i.e., hope for the best and see how it goes), with the first proposal getting a longerÂ test period.Â We heard a resounding response from the City Council that they really want to see these models work for Kirkland residents and their canine companions.Â So there you have it — we’ve finally made progress, and things are really looking up.
While this is not a done deal and certain circumstances are always outside KDOGâ€™s control, the ball is pretty much now in our court, working in partnership with our friends on the Park Board.Â The Park Board has been a great partner andÂ advocate on KDOGâ€™s behalf.Â Weâ€™ve done some great community outreach and fund raising to date and we’ve represented to the City Council that we are a willing and capable stewardship organization — weâ€™ve stepped up, now itâ€™s time for us to really get to work and prove ourselves. Â A few City Council members cited non-specific examples of other great community-driven stewardship projects that came out with a bang and faded over time.Â We need to ensure that we donâ€™t fall into that category.
The first item we need to cross off the to-do list is completion of an environmental study for use of the Schott property.Â A firm has quoted $5,000 to do this study for the City of Kirkland.Â Amy and others are currently researching other firms in the hope that KDOGâ€™s non-profit status might help (donation of services or sponsorship by local businesses).Â Â
How canÂ you help?Â KDOG has numerous volunteer opportunities that will enable you to apply your particular talents and time availability.Â Â The 2nd annualÂ Go Dog, Go! event is quickly approaching and we areÂ committed to making that a huge success.Â Â Â Please contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.Â Volunteer informational meetings will soon be on the KDOG calendar as well.Â Â Let’s roll up our sleeves!