Dogs’ off-leash areas should go elsewhere | Letters | June 26
June 29, 2009 · 2:11 PM
Pritchard Park is one of the best places to spend a few hours on Bainbridge Island. It’s a wide open public beach with stunning views of the ferry, super soft sand and piles of driftwood. And it feels like the gateway to Eagle Harbor – you can see boats and people come and go while you watch the weather or take a long walk.
Thank goodness our community recognized that this unique property ought to be saved and set aside for public enjoyment. Millions of dollars were raised to secure the property. Support came from private individuals who loved the land and its potential, as well as from elected officials at the national, state and local levels.
As with any project of this size and complexity, the planning process has taken some time. Meanwhile, park users are anxious for basic services like trash cans and toilets, and some clarification about what’s allowed, and what is not.
In the Review article, “Dog owners want to unleash Pritchard Park” (June 19), Sean Roach describes the current situation: “There are a lot of dogs running off leash.” We like dogs and certainly they need places to run. But to suggest that the city officially designate Pritchard Park as an “off-leash area” would be a waste of what the place has to offer the rest of us – hikers, boaters, families with children, photographers, picnickers.
Public dollars were set aside for Pritchard Park because it was one of the last opportunities to secure a sizable beachfront property in Puget Sound. It’s truly a gem, one which deserves to be enjoyed by the widest portion of the population as possible.
Let’s get the planning finished for Pritchard Park and not short-circuit the process. As for where another off-leash area ought to be, since there is already an off-leash area at nearby Eagledale Park, we suggest looking at the middle or north end of the island.
John and Jenny Lange