Unleash the fun

Glendale News Press

Los Angeles County's first-ever off-leash dog park is scheduled to be open in June 2011 at Crescenta Valley Park, officials told residents Thursday night.

Hundreds of residents and dog lovers gathered at the Dunsmore Avenue recreational area to hear the final plans about the long-awaited park.

"I think the design is really good, and I think people will like to come here," John Klose, president of Community Volunteers for Dogs Off-leash Gathering and Socializing, also known as CV DOGS, a group that formed about three years ago to lobby for the enclosure.

The roughly 1.5-acre lot will be fenced in within the existing Crescenta Valley Park along Honolulu Avenue at a cost of $300,000, said Susan Pearson, a facilities planner with the county's Parks and Recreation Department.

"I think it's going to be really good for the community," said park supporter Adrienne Griffin.

Griffin doesn't own dogs, but she said she was thrilled about watching the pooches play in the park.

"It's going to be a safe place for the animals," she said.

A one-acre lot for large dogs and a separate half-acre area for small dogs will make up the facility.

"They are completely separate and segregated for the safety of the animals," said the park's architect, Blake Warner.

Cedar mulch will be laid out, and decomposed granite will be the framework for an American Disabilities Act-compliant pathway in the park.

Some residents expressed concerns about the use of decomposed granite and the heat that could potentially rise from the surface.

But county officials contended that most dog parks use similar materials.

"Our research shows us that some dogs like to run on hard surfaces, and some dogs enjoy running on soft surfaces, so that's really the biggest reasons for the two different surfaces," Warner said.

County parks officials plan to preserve the existing trees and incorporate them in the design, Warner said. Benches with overtop shading and water fountains were also included in the designs.

"What we have done is provided two large areas with the two different surfacing, so if somebody wants to throw a ball or throw Frisbee for a dog, you have an open area where they can run freely without having any conflict with the trees," she said.

County officials are relying on residents to self-regulate one another, which they said is a system that has worked at most dog parks. Rules will still be posted at the lot's entrances.

The remaining portions of the Crescenta Valley Park will continue to require dog owners to have their pets on leashes, county officials said.

FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Adrienne Griffin as president of CV DOGS.

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