Home Breaking News Laguna Lake Dog Park is getting a makeover

Laguna Lake Dog Park is getting a makeover

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Ellsworth Urban Dog Park in Silver Spring, Md., is one of many providing canines health benefits like exercise, social development and more.
Ellsworth Urban Dog Park in Silver Spring, Md., is one of many providing canines health benefits like exercise, social development and more. Photo by Marilyn Stone

A San Luis Obispo City Council meeting on April 2 resulted in decisions made for city improvements, including allocating funds and taking steps towards a revitalization project of the Laguna Lake Dog Park.

The motion was started by the City of San Luis Obispo Parks & Recreation Department, which held multiple online surveys garnering over 600 participant responses from May to June 2022 showing how vital the Laguna Lake Dog Park is to the community.  The surveys revealed approximately 75% of participants confirming they use the Laguna Lake Dog Park, with improvements needed.

The improvement plan includes a visual layout created by the landscape architecture firm Wallace Group, which provided ideas for improvements such as a hydration station, a dry creek, multiple types of ground, a dog wash station, a dog waste station, separate areas for different sized dogs, and places for shade. The blueprint, which is being considered for installation, can be seen in this document.

“This park area, especially the dog park with our huge community of dog lovers, ends up being one of our top priorities,” San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Director Greg Avakin said.

Plans for the Laguna Lake Dog Park revitalization. Illustration created by Wallace Groups

One of the most important upgrades to the dog park would be 4-foot fencing surrounding the dog park, which San Luis Obispo dog-owning resident Kenny Morgan suggested. Although some survey respondents stated they wanted no fencing to keep the area open, fences will likely be installed, as seen in the earlier layout plan. In one document showing possible additions or amenities to the dog park, three different fence types are considered: A chain link, iron, or hog wire fence. 

“The project scope includes removal of over a dozen tree stumps, several old and cracking concrete pads, and regrading of the area to mitigate marshy and unsafe conditions,” wrote Matt Horn, San Luis Obispo Public Works Director, and Erica Long, San Luis Obispo Capital Works Manager, in a San Luis Obispo Council Agenda Report.

The project will also include the addition of ADA-compliant concrete pathways and additional seating areas.

“I think there is a big need for dog parks in our area, especially as our community grows,” said Paul Erb, a San Luis Obispo resident realtor and dog owner. “With all the new development projects in SLO, our community is growing denser and denser. I can see the need for residents with smaller yards needing a gated space to be able to take their dog for some socializing and exercise.” 

Erb also stated his excitement about the Laguna Lake Dog Park revitalization project.

“SLO has always been a dog-friendly community and I’m hopeful this will be a great project for the area,” Erb said.

As for what Erb looks forward to from this project, he stated that a secure fenced area, fun dog enrichment activities, and an open, clean space would be great. 

Dogs like Ruby who call San Luis Obispo County home often need a well-maintained place to exercise and play. Photo by Makenna Ward

San Luis Obispo City Council plans to set aside funds for the Laguna Lake Dog Park renovation. From an agenda correspondence document released after the April 2 city council meeting, the funding limit for the project would be approximately $1.13 million. However, the amount was later revised, with the estimate for the total project cost coming out to around $1.36 million.

The importance of this project was brought to light by the Parks & Recreation Blueprint for the Future, which is a project spanning from 2021 to 2024.

“An essential guide for the future of parks and recreation in the City of San Luis Obispo for the next 20 years,” is what’s written in the project blueprint.  

The project aims to address the community’s changing needs for carbon neutrality and sustainable transportation. Parks are one of the biggest focuses of this project.

“Laguna Lake Park has great potential to accommodate more of our recreational needs,” the document explains.

Dog parks are listed in the document as a priority, or a near-term project to be worked on within 0-5 years of the 2021 start date. With Laguna Lake Park mentioned by name, completion of this project could potentially be expected sometime within the coming years.

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