Enumclaw’s Park Director Michelle Larson meets with Councilmembers Kyle Jacobson, left, and Anthony Wright, right, about the future Enumclaw dog park. Photo by Ray Still

Enumclaw’s Park Director Michelle Larson meets with Councilmembers Kyle Jacobson, left, and Anthony Wright, right, about the future Enumclaw dog park. Photo by Ray Still

Ellenson park likely site for new Enumclaw dog park

City Parks Director Michelle Larson estimates a mid- to late-summer opening.

Ellenson Park is likely to become the place to be for Enumclaw residents and their furry friends.

On Wednesday, April 11, the Enumclaw Park Board officially recommended the park on the corner Battersby Avenue and Farman Street North to become the city’s new dog park.

The board’s recommendation went straight to the City Council’s Community Services Committee meeting on April 12.

The committee, chaired by Councilman Anthony Wright and populated by Tony Binion (absent) and Kyle Jacobson, showed enthusiasm for the project.

“If we’re going to do a dog park, let’s make it as dog-parky as we can,” Jacobson said. “I don’t want us to build a half dog park.”

Ellenson Park was only one of many the Park Board examined as a possibility for the dog park.

On March 14, the board presented their short list of parks to the public — Ellenson Park, MacFarland Park, and Elk Meadows Park.

Ellenson Park was the crowd favorite, as well as the preferred choice for people who contacted the Park Board after the open house, for several reasons.

“It’s a currently underutilized park, access to town by the future proposed trail development, there’s plenty of parking, and there’s few adjacent homeowners,” Enumclaw Park Director Michelle Larson told the committee.

The committee’s recommendation puts the dog park plan on the full City Council’s agenda for the April 23 meeting.

BUDGET AND AMENITIES

The dog park’s current budget is $35,000, enough for a bare-bones park, which includes the fencing, a two-gate entrance, some benches, poop bags, a bag dispenser and a trash can.

However, the Park Board is looking to supplement the budget with grant money from the Enumclaw Rotary.

In January 2018, the Rotary announced it was looking for a community project to grant up to $100,000.

The project would have to be non-profit, improve the Enumclaw community, be sustainable, and be connected to the Rotary and its causes (promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene, saving mothers and children, supporting education, growing local economies).

Larson figures the dog park meets the Rotary’s qualifications, and wouldn’t come close to needing the full grant amount.

For her preliminary proposal, Larson said, “maybe the first year, they could provide an element of the park. I suggested a shade shelter, for dogs and people, so there’s more shade at the dog park. Also, if they are interested in doing a wood chipped area, they could pay for the wood chips and they could spread them as their service project. That would be their involvement in the development of the park.”

And for the next four years, the Rotary can continue adding one amenity (for example, running water or an agility course), per year, and upkeep the wood chip area, Larson continued. She’s still looking at the numbers, but estimated the financial commitment to be around $36,000 over five years.

In exchange for the grant, the dog park may also be named after the Rotary.

Bids and official grant proposals haven’t gone out yet, but Larson hopes to go out for a fencing bid soon, award a contract by June, and have the dog park open by mid to late summer.

TRAIL ACCESS POSSIBLE

While the Park Board and Community Services Committee believe many residents will use the dog park, they do want to see the out-of-the-way park have more access in the future.

“I would love to see a little more connectivity to town,” Jacobson said.

Larson said there is a plan to complete what the city calls the Battersby Loop Trail, which would connect Ellenson Park to the Foothills Trail, in the near future.

“The Park Board is really excited about pursuing that and putting that in our six-year Capital Plan, so that, with this park plan update, there is more connectivity,” she said.

Before the trail is completed, the city will have to purchase the right-of-way to a plot of land near the park.

Ellenson Park is mostly undeveloped, with a small play structure and few adjacent homes, making it the most popular site for the dog park. Photo by Ray Still

Ellenson Park is mostly undeveloped, with a small play structure and few adjacent homes, making it the most popular site for the dog park. Photo by Ray Still

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