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Proposal to Revise Sewallcrest Off-Leash Schedule: May 12 Public Meeting and Online Survey

The Sewallcrest Park Off-Leash Stewardship Group has submitted a proposal to Portland Parks and Recreation to simplify the off-leash schedule at Sewallcrest Park. There will be a public meeting for questions and comment on May 12, 7-9 pm at the Richmond Neighborhood Association monthly meeting, Waverly Church, SE 33rd and Woodward.   (RNA Board elections will occur first.)

Please complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N3DFHL8 to provide comment about the proposal, whether or not you can make the May 12 meeting.  It will assist you when filling out the survey to print the attached map and schedules (Map & Current/Proposed Schedules).

Sewallcrest is one of 24 unfenced off-leash areas in parks throughout the city. In 2004, City Council adopted the current Dog Off-Leash Program, “based on the fundamental assumption that recreating with a dog is a legitimate park use.” The overall goal of the off-leash program is to “provide a range of on-leash and off-leash opportunities to accommodate the varying needs of dogs and their owners, while not unduly compromising the basic needs of other park users.”

The Off-Leash Program Report to Council recommended the ongoing evaluation of off-leash areas and making site specific adjustments if warranted by changed circumstances at the site. At Sewallcrest, Edwards Elementary School, which is adjacent to the park, closed in 2007. Since the Off-Leash hours were structured, in large part, around the year-round schedule of Edwards School, its closure represents a significant change which warrants a reconsideration of the off-leash schedule.

With a simpler schedule, the goal of the Sewallcrest Park Off-Leash Stewardship Group is to make the off-leash hours easier to remember and to comply with, and to allow more opportunities for people to exercise their dogs, especially on weekdays.

Park Rangers will be patrolling off-leash areas in city parks and are authorized to issue up to $150 tickets per dog for violations of the off-leash hours and the scoop law.