Field Closure at Wallingford Playfield


If playing ultimate Frisbee or soccer in the mud is part of your winter ritual, then you’ll need to head somewhere besides Wallingford Playfield this year. The Parks Department recently closed to field to allow turf rebuilding. And this year they mean it! They have erected fencing to render the field largely unusable. I guess they finally realized that Wallingford’s winter sports enthusiasts, dog owners and restless youth were not going to stay off the field simply because a sign politely asked them to.

Margaret spoke with Seattle Parks and Rec crew chief, Colleen Hackett, who reports that the field has been leveled and seeded, and top soil was added to what they had placed on the ground last year. They’re also hoping to aerate the field, but there’s a pump that needs to be fixed first. “Probably February will be our next chance to put seed down and get it established in March,” adds Hackett.

But Hackett’s main concern is that she hopes neighbors will keep the dogs off the field. She acknowledged that the field is heavily used for soccer, ultimate frisbee, and Hamilton’s programs, but off-leash use is the one action that has the largest impact and is against park use.

 “(Dogs playing on the field is) much tougher on the field than people think,” she says, and the park staff have been working with Seattle Animal Control to enforce the leashed pets law. She suggests that neighbors contact the Citizens for Off Leash Areas (COLA) to look into getting another off-leash area that’s close by instead of using the Wallingford Playfield.


So, we contacted COLA to see what it would take to establish a new off leash park, and Patrick Jones, who serves as Chairman for COLA told us that, “Once there is support for an off leash area, it helps to have a petition with signatures and then contact us on who wants to be the lead contact and then we can at least see if there is support other than a few people. It takes years, but we can try to cut that down when there is a community that really stands behind the steps.”

The closest off leash dog area to Wallingford is in at Lower Woodland Park, which is only a mile away, though it can be a pretty muddy place for pooches to play. But Jones tells us, “We have a new steward at Lower Woodland and we hope to be supporting that off leash area to resolve some of its muddy issues.”

  • Rusty

    Dogs should be banned from all parks, their owners just can’t be bothered with following any rules.

  • http://www.wallyhood.org Wallyhood

    Totally, Rusty, I’m right there with you. And teenagers. Also, I saw some guys in their 20′s who were taking up TWO parking spaces at a park with just ONE car, so all people under 30 should be banned from parks, too. In fact, I don’t think humans can be trusted with parks, because some of them littered. I wish everyone was as sinless as you and me, but until then, we should just make laws against them.

  • Nancy M

    If Hamilton, a public school, is using the community park field for “Hamilton programs” the Seattle Public School District needs to contribute funds to pay for field repair . . . AND respect polite signage.

  • tbear

    Is it Wallyhood’s aim to discourage open public discussion of issues? It seems so with you ‘oh so sarcastic’ response to Rusty. I am a dog lover that just happens to agree with Rusty: there are many users of Good Shepard Center space that just want to take over the whole open space as a dog park. When my boys were small, there was a serious concern (try meeting a large dog at his level as it bounds up to you — it can be frightening), now it’s more of a nuisance; I’m frequently chased ‘in good fun, ’cause he never bites’ dog while jogging through the park. It’s likely the same at Wallingford Park where a few dog owners can ruin the experience for all park users. We need to people with dogs to abide by the rules; too many just seem to think the rules don’t apply to them.

  • Luther McNeighbor

    Can anybody with experience working with the powers-that-be with the parks comment on the likelihood of trying to organize some regulations regarding the use of cleats on the playfield?

    I enjoy seeing all of the youth soccer games and ultimate Frisbee… But also see the direct results of those activities that seem to result in reseeding and closing off the field annually. It would make a great experiment trying to reduce the cleats (not reducing the activities themselves) to see what the result would be.

    I would be happy to try to work with the correct people to have this experiment happen, so any constructive direction would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • beagleydog

    Seems a complete waste to be working on the field at this time of year by reseeding and fencing off. Don’t think this should even be done until around feb. As for the woodland dog park…that thing is a mud hole. As for dogs tearing up the park….PLEASE! Nothing! compared to bunches of kids playing soccer there.

  • Neighbor2You

    Thank you, Kimberly, for the post.

    It seems to me that what Patrick Jones is saying about “community support” for a new off-leash area reflects not only dog-owners who are presumably favorable to the idea…but also the rest of the community that stands to be affected.

    One way or another, the coming months will affect the chances of developing any new off-leash areas in Wallingford. If dog owners disregard the signs at Wallingford Playfield (or continue to let their dogs run at large in other parks), then not only will that be another failed opportunity to win broader community support, it will simply justify–and strengthen–the opposition.

    COLA’s work in South Lake Union shows they understand this, and that they know what stands to be gained (or lost). I like their efforts to educate and enforce lawful behavior, and I hope the winter months will show this to be true in Wallingford…and also that spring will arrive with a well-restored playfield for all to enjoy.

  • Judy

    Conditions are very bad at Meridian Park as well, where the Pks Dept has allowed sports, though the field was not prepared for heavy duty sports.

    We need a good off-leash area. Lower Woodland is small and I have had bad experiences there with dog owners?walkers? not supervising their dogs.

  • CL

    Agree with tbear — it seems that Wallyhood’s sarcastic comment discourages further discussion, which seems unfair especially when it comes from a site moderator.

    I love dogs myself and I’ve wanted to have one for years, but we have a tiny yard. If I do get a dog, I face the choice between being selfish and letting my dog run wild on parks designated as on-leash-only areas or driving the dog across town to off-leash areas every day. Neither of these options are appealing to me. To be honest, it is a little frustrating to see so many people in our community placing themselves above the rules so that they can enjoy dog ownership.

    I’m sorry, but it seems to me that if you want to own a dog and live in Wallingford, you may need make certain sacrifices like going out of your way to find a place for your dog to run free.

  • KimberlyC

    I can’t speak to whether dogs or kids are harder on the park as I’m not an expert. But when the Parks people tell me that dogs are really hard on the park, I tend to defer to their expertise.

    Please stop having magical thinking around the damage that your dogs are doing to the park. The park is closed to off leash dogs. The Parks Department has explained their reasoning. You can rationalize your behavior in whichever ways you want, but the fact of the matter is that not only is it illegal to let your dogs run off leash, it is – actually and for reals – damaging to the turf. Just because soccer players are also damaging to the turf doesn’t mean you are off the hook and shouldn’t follow the law and the posted guidelines.

  • http://www.wallyhood.org Wallyhood

    If my goal was to discourage discussion, I obviously did a poor job at it. I’m allowed to disagree with people, and I can use humor to do so. You can, too!

    Tbear, do you really agree with Rusty? He said “Dogs should be banned from all parks.” You said “we need people with dogs to abide by the rules.” Not the same.

  • Donn

    If you’re looking for commentary on your response to Rusty – in my view, when you bothered to compose an ironic response, you already took him too seriously.

  • yesyes

    ohh that sarcastic comment.. it does break credibility.. too drippingly offensive and not to the topic.
    There are a few who get over the top on here and that does discourage discussion.

  • Judy

    I thought the irony was just about ok. Not attacking the author, just giving a Swiftian reply.

    In terms of reality, if you have looked at the field, you see that the main muck is focused on the soccer play areas, not uniformly around the park. While off leash is prohibited, only digging dogs cause a concentrated problem. Other cities are more liberal in their rules. Dogs allowed off leash during early morning hours for example. Please don’t jump on the author of this comment either.

  • TomH

    One thing people probably don’t realize is the sports leagues pay large sums of money to the parks department for use and maintenance of the fields.

    On several occasions I’ve asked dog owners to leash their dogs. The only reason I do this is when I have concerns for the safety of my kids. Not once have I been met with a pleasant response. I am always a horrible person for expecting them to follow the rules. So my experience is 100% negative for dog owners.

  • gregf

    I feel qualified to provide a little historical (not hysterical, I hope) perspective for Wallingford Playfield. Please consider the following:

    A turf field MUST be closed from around November until March/April to allow the turf to recover and the roots to regrow so that the field can support the incredibly high level of use it sees. The turf is incredibly soft in the winter. Cleats and dog claws do an incredible amount of damage, especially in the winter.

    Soccer and (most) Ultimate Frisbee groups respect the field closed signs in the winter. In the past, Parks has only posted a single sign at the field indicating it was closed. This, unfortunately, led some selfish groups to, “Oops”, knock over the sign and use the field in the winter. Hamilton staff was also known to ignore the Field Closed sign, sending a horrible message to their students that signs posted by Parks can be ignored. Not the ideal teachable moment.

    The field has not been posted closed at all in the last two winters and use continued until Spring when the field was closed briefly after-the-fact to try to mend the torn up areas. Results were not great. The field is currently in the worst shape I can recall for the 20 years I was active with organizing projects at the park and the 25 years I have lived in Wallingford.

    Friends of Wallingford Playfield briefly explored trying to establish a “Good Neighbor Policy” in 1999 after the field was replaced and again in 2003 after the improvement project was completed. The concept was to try to get users to cooperate to extend the life of the field for everyone by posting a sign asking folks to voluntarily limit use of cleats at the park to kids 11 and under. This agreed with the written memorandum of understanding from Parks in 1996 to limit scheduled sports use to that same age group, such as U-11 soccer and under. Parks informed us that they cannot tell the public how to use the park (we were a bit skeptical as there seem to be cases where they do exactly that). However, we were led to believe that a community choosing to voluntarily limit the use of cleats would be acceptable, albeit unenforceable. We had just reached the end of our 5-year design and construction at the park and the volunteer resources necessary to pursue this additional process were exhausted. It would be great if there was interest in again pursuing such mitigation to help the park support current uses.

    In the winter, off-leash dogs are the number one source of wear on the field, no question. A dog running and turning, or chasing a ball, shreds the soft turf at every change of direction. This is not just simple scuffing of the ground, the turf is incredibly soft and gets ripped out completely, roots and all. One look at the mudhole that was Wallingford Playfield in the winter typically showed the predominant marker in the mud was not cleats, it was dog prints and claw marks. Some folks do not understand the quantity of dogs being run at the park. Some dog owners say, “Oh, it’s just one dog”, but it is not just one dog. It is daily and it is very heavy, all winter long. The roots will never recover under such persistent and damaging use.

    I won’t delve too deeply into the off-leash dogs at the park issue. Suffice it to say that off-leash dogs are illegal at Wallingford Playfield. COLA supports respect for the law and stated during hearings when the OLAs were established in 1995 that dog owners would keep their dogs leashed in parks IF they were given dedicated space for Off Leash Areas in some parks. Some dog owners apparently choose to not live up to the agreement. The activity is illegal. Parks recommends that folks call Animal Control or the police. A respectful word should suffice, but be prepared for an occasional irrational response.

    Kudos to Parks for clearly closing the field. Everyone, PLEASE respect the closure, including your four-legged friends. Yes, we lose the use of the field for four months while the roots and turf recover, but it is an investment in an incredible community resource. If the community can get their act together to limit the use in the winter, the turf will be much stronger come Spring and we will have grass instead of mud and dust for all to share. Feel free to pass the word if you see folks using the field that it is closed. Parks has told us that using the field is Trespassing and is illegal. They tell us to call the police. A kind reminder should suffice, but as TomH has noted, please be careful as I, too, have encountered some incredibly threatening behavior.

    During our community survey work in 1998 and 1999 leading into the improvement projects, we found that many view Wallingford Playfield as an incredibly valuable resource, the living room of the Wallingford community. The field has been kept as a free-form green space precisely because it allows such a wide variety of uses – youth soccer, Frisbee, kite flying, lounging in the grass, picnicking, playing catch, etc. Natural turf is a renewable resource if allowed to recover in the off-season… but we need to allow it to have an off-season to realize sustainable use. The field is currently in a downward spiral. Parks has taken the first step to intervene and hopefully turn the field around. However, we all need to cooperate. Is it not worth using a little restraint now by going elsewhere in order to again realize a grassy field that is free of those ankle-twisting pits and muddy (dusty) bogs?

    Help our community make a great place even better by doing what you can to look beyond the minor inconvenience the closure might have to your immediate plans, and look to enable the greater good that will come when the sun returns and the investment of your restraint pays off by returning our park to the verdant glory of its former years. Keep Wallingford Playfield a renewable resource!

  • Neighbor2You

    gregf, thank you for a very informative post. It’s good to know the history, and to understand the rationale around efforts to restore the playfield over the winter months.

    And, I also have been reluctant to confront the dog owners who run their dogs off-leash in our public parks. {I don’t have a dog of my own, but I very much enjoy walking my friend’s dog….on leash at all times.} I admit, I’m fearful of the possible hostile reaction: after all, these are people who are disregarding the law in the first place.

    But as the COLA leadership has pointed out, every time dog owners conduct themselves unlawfully, the negative public perception is validated all the more.

    Again, I’m hoping that we’ll see a turnaround in behavior, as there’s much to be gained–or lost–either way. I’m having a good thought for Wallingford Playfield, for starters.

  • Sara B

    I completely agree with Rusty, and, in fact, dogs ARE banned from parks. I frequently see neighbors using the BF Day playfield as an off-leash area when it specifically says NO DOGS! These are playfields for children. Off-leash dogs can be dangerous, and often times the owners don’t pick up after their dogs in these areas. I don’t have kids, but if I did, I wouldn’t want them playing soccor and baseball on fields covered in dog poo. People need to learn to follow the rules. Just because you think your dog is “different” doesn’t mean it is. And dogs can be dangerous to one another too. A friend’s dog was attacked by another dog at a dog park, causing serious injury.

  • Donn

    Dogs aren’t allowed off leash in Seattle, including in most parks. To say simply that dogs are therefore banned from parks is like saying people are banned from parks. In view of the indecent exposure law, you’re not allowed to walk around naked, including in the parks, but all you have to do is put some clothes on, and if you put a leash on the dog, it can come along. This is a much better deal than horse owners get.

  • gregf

    The exception is that dogs, whether on-leash or off-leash, are not allowed in the playground area of Seattle parks. The closest I have come to being physically assaulted by a dog owner was by the person I asked to please remove his four off-leash dogs from romping (and peeing) in the play area at the park.

    @Judy, the reality is that dogs have claws and use them to obtain “purchase” when they run and turn. It is far more than a digging problem (although potholes are a horrible addition to a field where youth soccer plays). There is a reason why designated off leash areas are muddy and grassless. It is not due to concentrated digging behavior.

    Parks’ landscape architects and sports field designers have assured me on many occasions over the years that a turf field can support very heavy use _IF_ the turf is healthy with sound root structure. The goal is to get “one up” on healthy turf development by giving the field a rest in the off-season when not having access affects far fewer users. Cooperative use includes learning to recognize when your behavior consumes a disproportionate share of a resource and making other choices so that others may also enjoy the benefit.

  • TomH

    Dogs may not be banned at parks, but according to my interpretation of the law, there are not many places they are allowed at Wallingford Playfield.

    The law says ‘…or to permit any dog or other pet with or without a leash, except
    Seeing Eye or Hearing Ear dogs or dogs used by public law enforcement
    agencies and under control of a law enforcement officer, to enter any public
    beach, swimming or wading area, pond, fountain, stream, organized athletics
    area or designated children’s play area.”

    Certainly the children’s play area and the wading pool at Wallingford Playfield are off limits to dogs, leashed or not. If we consider the large grassy area of the Playfield an ‘organized athletics area’, which I do, then dogs are not allowed there either. This leaves the path around the Playfield, the small area on the south end for leashed pets.

    I think one of the problems is ‘organized athletics area’ is not clearly defined and is open to interpretation. The Park Department should clarify this terminology.

  • Neighbor2You

    That’s a helpful code cite, and I would also be interested in the Parks Department’s clarification of “organized athletics area.”

    And we may as well fill in the rest, from SMC 18.12.080: “Except as expressly allowed in subsection B hereof*, it is unlawful for any person to allow or to permit any dog or other pet to run at large in any park…”

    followed by the section TomH has quoted, then: “The Superintendent may ban dogs and other pets, or a specific dog or other pet, from areas of any park where he or she determines the same may be a nuisance.”

    *Identifies the authorized off-leash areas.

    And, from SMC 9.25.020E: “At large” means a dog or other animal inside The City of Seattle, off the premises of the owner, and not under control by a leash of 8 feet in length or shorter. “At large” does not include an animal on property other than the animal’s owner with the permission of a lawful occupant of that property.”

  • gregf

    Since the field area was created in 1970, the community has tended to steer clear of reference to an “organized athletic area”. This has allowed the space to be kept as a multi-use space to serve the widest variety of users. There are plenty of parks with organized athletic fields nearby. The field at WP was created as a place for kids to drop-in to play after school. There have been several community “battles” with Parks over the last 40 years to maintain this “drop-in” flavor and keep it from becoming a dedicated single sports field.

    My late-neighbor was one of the displaced seniors and related how her home was “taken” in 1970 when the block of homes was demolished. Skeptics at the time were assured that the field would not simply become an “appendage” of Hamilton. This is one reason why there was a community push since Lincoln closed in 1981 to move Hamilton to the larger Lincoln site where it could have an athletic field and why Hamilton never used the field at WP on a regular basis. Many of us began work in earnest in 1996 (when Hamilton was first supposed to move to Lincoln), got it written into the School District Master Plan, but did not count on the “dirty tricks” of Seattle School District Facilities and their campaign of misinformation.

  • LM

    CL and others –
    You can still get a dog even if you have a tiny yard. We actually WALK our dog, about 3-4 times a day. We walk at Greenlake and around the neighborhood and up and down 45th. I have also been a guilty dog owner that has let her dog run at Wallingford playfield. I understand the frustration of the playfield condition; however, I have a friend who works at designing fields like this for a living and in fact, cleats are every bit as damaging as dog feet. As a matter of fact, if dogs are not digging and clawing it is not any different than any human running or walking on the field. I do always stay away from the playground and kids. I have a small dog who is under control. But even if I can’t let her romp once in a while at the park she will be ok because we do walk her. CL- I’m sure any dog sitting in the pound right now would be very happy and grateful to have a “tiny” yard and a few walks a day. Much better than sitting in a kennel.

  • TomH

    See how easy it is to justify breaking the rules.

    [Quote – LM] …, I have a friend who works at designing fields like this for a living and in fact, cleats are every bit as damaging as dog feet. As a matter of fact, if dogs are not digging and clawing it is not any different than any human running or walking on the field. [end]

    Despite what has been quoted by the Seattle Parks and Rec crew chief, LM has a friend who says otherwise. Guess that makes it ok for the dog to run around off leash.

    [Quote – LM] … I do always stay away from the playground and kids. I have a small dog who is under control. [end]

    So staying away from the playground and kids makes it ok to let your dog run around off leash. Have you ever considered that some people won’t let their kids go on the field if there is a dog running loose? If we are at the park and there is a dog running loose, I make my kids stay in the play area. This is sometimes an issue when my older kids want to kick the soccer ball or toss a football or baseball around. I’ll also suggest that if you dog is off leash, it is not under control. Not that I don’t think it is possible but because I’ve seen so many dogs that fail to listen to their owner’s commands.

    This discussion seems to have gone down the path that field damage is the reason for the leash law. I suspect field damage had little impact on the decision to require pets to be on a leash. It’s about SAFETY. My family should be safe from loose animals when we are at the park or any public place. Off leash pets are a safety risk. Now I know everyone’s pet are nice and friendly and wouldn’t hurt anyone. In fact I’ve been told that numerous times when one of my kids has run to me terrified because of a dog. I’ve been told that when a dog was barking at me in an intimidating manner.

    Before everyone accuses me of not liking dogs, I assure you that isn’t the case. I understand that people love their dogs and treat them as part of the family. If my situation was different I’d probably own a dog too. I’d really like to see a solution to this problem but I doubt ignoring the leash law is a good solution.

  • Neighbor2You

    I see a couple different discussion tracks here:

    (1) The closure of the Wallingford playfield over the winter months so as to allow the turf to rebuild, and whether the Parks Department is correct in taking that action. {I personally think this makes a lot of sense.}

    (2) Who causes more damage to turf, dogs or humans. {I don’t have an opinion, I would just like everyone to respect the closure.}

    (3) The unlawful practice by some of running their dogs off-leash in public parks. {This continues to disturb me. Along with being against the law, it’s frightening to some other park users, and it’s one of the key obstacles to gaining broad community support for the creation of more public off-leash areas.}

    (4) Who likes dogs and who doesn’t. (Just kidding…as I said, I enjoy walking my friend’s dog, but even if I didn’t like dogs, it wouldn’t have a bearing on my rights–and responsibilities–related to our public parks.}

  • gregf

    Great conversations. Thanks for summing up.

    Yes, cleats can be damaging as well… and might be just as damaging _IF_ the use was in the winter when the turf is vulnerable and _IF_ the use was at the same level as the off-leash dog-running in the winter. It is not.

    In reality, cleat use typically happens during the regular season, when the turf is (hopefully) established and strong. Dog use during the regular season is not nearly as destructive as during the winter either.

    The premise in the article and based on experience is that the running of dogs off-leash in the winter is a primary source of wear to the field at a time when the field should be recovering. Parks’ landscape architects have noted this in the past and Parks lead crew supervisor as well as the expert crew in charge of maintaining designated athletic fields have identified dogs as a problem at WP.

    Why the resistance to what Parks is asking? Don’t we all want a field that is in better shape? One final consideration: Using cleats at WP is not currently illegal.

    Think cooperative use! (P.S. Some of my best friends are dogs!)

  • Yani

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say “Wallingford Hates Dogs, and their owners!” The most heated debates on this blog is when dogs and playfields are mentioned in the same post. As soon as I see that I think, oh here we go. And as predicted, the hate starts flying. I usually keep quiet because I’m in the business of dogs (cats, and other critters). But I have such a hard time reading how evil, selfish, and inconsiderate ALL dog owners are. I have a big dog, who doesn’t even run on the playfield, but I do live in the neighborhood, so therefore I must be bad too. I live across the street from said playfield, and see a number of regular off leash dogs and their owners there, but they are a small handful of people from the neighborhood, not the whole lot of us. So can we refrain from lumping a large part of the neighborhood into your hate arguments? Yes, claws and cleats destroy the grass. Can we talk about the issue without the smack talk? We all live here together.

  • Judy

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Yani.

  • Margaret Hamilton

    @28 and @29, how about talking with the off leash people in the park, dog person to dog person. Help them organize to change laws or create new spaces but to be part of a solution. Seems like there is enough hate to go around these days.
    I am offended and surprised by code and law breakers. I also understand impatience with process. But as it stands, Wallingford Playfield, Meridian Park and all Seattle city sidewalks and streets are off limits to unleashed dogs and I appreciate that ordinance.

  • yani

    Margaret, I already live a busy and stressful life, and I’m not a confrontational person, so I don’t have it in me to police the neighborhood. And let me be clear, I wasn’t saying what they did was okay. I was simply saying, hey, while we’re having this conversation, can we not lump all dog owners in the neighborhood as evil?! *Most* Wallingford dog families are very responsible and considerate.

    If people come out of the gate trashing on a group of people, you can’t expect them to take the minute to listen to your side of things.

  • prop 3

    Most dog owners obey leash and scoop laws. A small minority let their dogs off leash at the park. Most limit themselves to early morning or late evening when park use is low. While technically illegal, I don’t have a problem with this. I do have a problem with folks that let their dogs off leash in the afternoon or early evenings. Specifically, the woman with the “whats-a-doodle” that took a dump in the middle of my kids’ soccer practice.

  • prop 3

    Clarification: the dog took the dump, not the woman.

  • CL

    Yani, to be fair, I think there is only one comment on this thread that even hints at the idea that “all dog owners in the neighborhood [are] evil.”

    All the concerns or objections here seem to be directed very specifically at dog-owners who break the rules.

    Please don’t shut down the discussion by labeling all the comments you disagree with as being simply “hateful.”

  • yani

    Thank you, CL. I wasn’t trying to shut down the conversation, and I was only saying let’s discuss things nicely. And to be fair, I think it’s a reach to think I label all comments I disagree with as hateful. I’m actually a very friendly person, who while not opposed to a good heated debate, likes to stick to the issues without name calling. I suppose my saying “into your hate arguments” was a bit harsh, so I shall try to be better about that.

    I will shut up now.

  • CL

    Hi Yani,

    Honestly, I think you do have a very good point, about discussing things nicely and avoiding name calling. Please don’t feel like you are shut out of the discussion yourself — I’m sorry if my note was too harsh towards you! I think that it’s important to have dog owners and dog advocates in on this conversation as well, though I can imagine it’s hard to hear that some people are frustrated with dog owners. The first comment in the thread probably did not set things off on the right foot, unfortunately.

    Anyhow, thanks for your message, and take care. :)

  • yani

    Thank you so much, CL! I totally appreciate that!!

  • yesyes

    to # 28.. feels unfair and mean remark. You are overgeneralizing an dbeing unfair to people whodiscuss the topic.
    More angry threads were also written about the fight we lost about that height variance which the city allowed on the ‘ha green building’.

  • CL

    I was running past Wallingford Park this morning and made a semi-scientific observation. There was a man running his dog off-leash in the rectangular space just south of the fenced off region, and I could see that the ground in that area is torn up into the distinct oblong shape of a dog run. I’m fairly certain that essentially no cleat-wearing soccer players have been using that specific region of grass in the month since the field was closed — it’s too small for practice or a game.

    This isn’t definitive proof that dog claws are worse than cleats, of course, but it seems to show that off-leash dogs are causing a significant amount of damage on their own.

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