Thank you for attending the meeting and your interest in the Parley's Nature Park and off lease discussion. I am in support of identifying and developing more off lease areas and establishing off leash parks conveniently located in more neighborhoods throughout Salt Lake City. I have been out scouting for more locations to introduce as (much needed) off leash parks that Salt Lake City might develop and offer to our dog owner families. Finding locations in the downtown area are desperately needed and yet hardest to find. Four years ago at a FIDOS forum I suggested a Pioneer Park location which is now under way for construction. I have championed that location and have made sure that the funding was secure for the Off-leash Dog Park even when the Mayor's administration repeatedly removed the funding for the off leash area. I have also consulted with UDOT for surplus land, that we might be developed as off leash areas. Brown field(s) lands have also been suggested as possible locations to develop for off leash areas. All of these options and other possible ideas have been of utmost importance to me. I have investigated information of a wonderful off-leash park in Berkeley CA. I visited while in that area. I know that much of the lore for Parleys' is the accessible water for the dogs coupled with the beautiful location. I suggested to Rick Graham the Mayor's Parks director to consider Tanner Park to the west as an area that appears to be often underutilized especially the east most area, contiguous to Parleys Nature Park, as a desirable off-leash to be perused. Tanner Park is artificially developed and thus allows for easy care and on going maintenance. A water feature could be added for a "lab and friends" frolicking pool; there is already a natural basin designed into the landscaping of the park in that area and again is conveniently located to the Nature Park for on leash visits. My hesitancy to Parleys as an off leash is in its fragility (by its nature status) and the intensity of its use. In considering the FIDOS request for total off leash use of Parleys I have consulted with many experts to better understand both sides of the use issue. I have come to the conclusion that the Parley's Nature Park can not co-exist with unlimited off leash dog use. I suggested to the City Council that there be a limit to the number of dogs at any one time and a maximum number to use the Park in a day. I have suggested that the riparian nesting habitat be protected to provide a safe and welcoming environment for the returning birds. I have asked that the historic structures be respected as having delicate needs and given special attention in order to assure our history of the area be around to view and stand as a record for the next 100 years. Adele this area is very special, it feels very peaceful. I know why it is popular of me and others as an escape from the city life. I believe that the needs of our canine sidekicks to exercise and explore can be done in a less fragile environment. I am in support of Parleys Nature Park to remain as a nature park. It is very unique and is the only one of its kind in Salt Lake. I look forward to continuing the quest to identify other possible off leash areas in the City and ask for your help in identifying appropriate locations.
Thank you for contacting me and for the chance to respond.
City Council district 4