Wallingford Playfield Response

4522387_origColleen Hackett, Parks Operations Crew Chief, sent in this response to comments on the Wallingford Playfield Update post:

Because the playfield is intended for youth soccer, wear-and-tear from play is inevitable.

Because Seattle law entirely prohibits dogs from playfields, that wear-and-tear is avoidable.

Seattle Parks does close the field when it’s too wet.  We also wait to schedule after-school and weekend play until late spring when it’s less wet.  But drop-in play (like the cleat-wearing Frisbee games) we can’t control.   I will look into ending youth soccer earlier  at the end of October, rather than in November to reduce wear.

Thanks to the community for any help avoiding the wear-and-tear that’s avoidable!

(Photo from the set of progressive photos of the playfield taken and poste by Fred Slater)

  • Patrick Long

    Has a soccer day ever been canceled at the Playfield due to weather? I can’t think of one…

  • donkeyman

    My daughter plays with Woodland Park Soccer and we have had several games cancelled at Wallingford Park in the past couple of years due to weather. Just FYI.

  • Kimberly

    Off-leash dogs are illegal at playfields. That is all. Why do we have to keep rehashing this? If you want to run your dog offleash, join cola and help be part of the solution instead of part of the problem by advocating for and helping build more offleash dog areas. http://www.coladog.org/

    • Eyflyn

      I have never heard of cola, thanks for the link.

      I’m new to this area, but it seems to me that the amount of off-leash dogs in the park demonstrates a clear unmet need in the community.

      The park is big enough to meet everyone’s needs. One idea is that the upper area on the South-East corner could be easily fenced off, away from the playfields or playground. There would even be enough room if you wanted to cut the space in half and maintain the three picnic tables.

      My observations are that the dog owners are respectful of not interfering with any sports or kids playing, they clean up after their pets, and the owners with difficult dogs don’t let them off the leash. Your neighbors are simply trying to give their dogs a little exercise/and socializing without having to travel more than a few blocks. In fact, it is basically the same idea as taking your kids to the nearby playground.

      • ChateauArusi

        “There is an unmet need” is a true statement.

        “And therefore we can ignore the law and screw up the park” is NOT.

        • Eyflyn

          I see that you took the liberty of using quotation marks however neither the second sentence, nor its sentiment, is found anywhere in my post. The (deliberate?) misuse is misleading and especially weird considering you are obviously a staunch rule follower.

          “QUOTE (v.): to repeat (something said or written by another person) exactly.” – Webster Dictionary

          • Donn

            ChateauArusi was indeed putting words in your mouth, in a way that editorially requires quotation marks, but in a sense of ironic paraphrase that I think would be obvious to any reader. was your 4th paragraph not entirely a defense of people who illegally run dogs off leash in the park?

          • Eyflyn

            Yes, I suppose I was defending the dog owners who don’t approach the situation as “I’m going to go engage in criminal activities, hehe”. My goal was to appeal to the people who are complaining, by showing their neighbor’s point of view.

            In my opinion, some laws do not reflect the current society’s needs or wants. As for “screwing up the park,” as ChateauArusi said, I do not believe dogs are the main causes. Small urban parks unfortunately have trouble not getting beat down by sports, dogs, even families having picnics. We do the best we can (and it seems the rain, the drainage and the levelness of of the land play roles too) to keep our parks beautiful, but at the end of the day most of us want a functional space, more than a botanical garden and signs that say “keep off the grass”.

            Another thread on this site contains an interesting conversation, and some compelling photographs that support the idea that the dogs are not the biggest problem with the park’s mud vs. grass situation.

          • Donn

            They don’t have to be the biggest problem. We spend money on the field so that kids can play soccer. If that harms the field, we fix it. We also have to fix it if dogs harm it, but they illegally take advantage of the money we spend to support other activities. If anyone thinks the people would go for a change in the legal status of dogs in parks, they’re welcome to try to change that, but I think they’d find they’re actually a rather small minority.

      • ChateauArusi

        Also, when dog owners are deliberately ignoring the law, you don’t get to call them respectful.

        “But after the serial killer murdered your family, he carefully cleaned up their bodies and boxed their possessions and left them on your porch for your convenience. So he was very respectful!”

        • Eyflyn

          I’m not sure that the best way to compel dog owners to consider your points and concerns is to compare them to serial killers.

  • DOUG.

    Frisbee should be played barefoot. If you’re wearing cleats, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Anne Phillips

    I totally agree that the law is the law. But the fact is that Colleen is saying, “the fields are a mess, we have to restore them every year, so please report off leash dogs” which implies that reporting off-leash dogs will ameliorate the problem. It won’t. It’s like if the city said “it’s really hard to repair potholes, so please report people who are bicycling without a helmet.” There are great reasons for the helmet laws, but potholes are not one.

    So what we are rehashing is the cause of the field damage. It is such a drag to have it turn into a mud pit every year when it just isn’t necessary. The soccer league needs to be a better steward of the shared space they play on and that is why I am chiming into the debate. I don’t mind Colleen reminding us that off-leash dogs are illegal. Holding up damage caused by something else entirely is what I object to.

  • Fruitbat

    The off-leash dogs may not do the most damage, but they certainly do not help the field at all. At least soccer is an intended use of the field, whether that is a good plan or not.

    Actually, off-leash dogs are illegal anywhere in a park except a designated off-leash area (hence the name). My reading of the above (“Seattle law entirely prohibits dogs from play fields”) is that all dogs–even leashed–are prohibited on play fields.

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