PRB Accepts Recommendations On Dogs In Parks

Briefing members of the Los Alamos County Parks And Recreation Board at Thursday’s meeting in Council Chambers, from left, Animal Control Supervisor Robert Aragon, Parks Superintendent Jeff Humpton and Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division Manager Chris Wilson. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Amanda Robertson of Endeavor Working Dog Club, a non-profit dog training club that meets regularly at Dara Jones Soccer Field in Overlook Park, addresses the board and discusses her club’s activities. She also mentions that White Rock is in need of a larger dog park. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos County Parks And Recreation Board members at Thursday’s meeing in Council Chambers, from left, JoAnn Johnson, Vice-Chair Melanee Hand, Chair Chris Stubben, Jason Lott and Christine Nackers. Paul Cook and Mike Steinzig were absent. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Staff Report

The Los Alamos County Parks and Recreation Board voted 5-0 at Thursday’s meeting in Council Chambers to accept staff recommendations regarding dog use in County outdoor facilities.

Based on public comment and feedback, new Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division Manager Chris Wilson, Parks Superintendent Jeff Humpton and Animal Control Supervisor Robert Aragon briefed the board saying it is clear that the public supports remaining a dog friendly community within existing rules and regulations. They added that alternatives exist to improve this community vision through  education, enforcement and facility improvements.

PRB Member JoAnn Johnson made the motion and the board unanamously accepted the staff’s five initial recommendations:

  • New signage to clarify Dog Training Zones, Dog Training Fields and Voice and Sight Control areas as they now exist, including the informational phone number for the Parks Division and the Dispatch phone number for improved customer service.
  • The “No Dogs on Playing Field” signs on Overlook sports fields will be removed and replaced with park entry signage that enforces the leash law message throughout the Overlook Park area.
  • Designation of Dara Jones Soccer Field as a “Dog Training Field” that is scheduled for group events via the Parks Field User meetings will occur. The Westside Pedestrian gate will be removed so that unofficial dog park activities do not occur.
  • Further Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club (LADOC) involvement reflecting the group’s contractual obligations to the County for providing their services of obedience training classes, workshops along with information and guidance to dog owners of the area. Together the County staff and LADOC will work to increase the awareness of the rules and regulations and how Los Alamos County can truly be a dog friendly community.
  • Dog Park
    • Parks staff will continue their maintenance efforts in the dog parks paying close attention to the items brought forward through this public process.
    • The North Mesa Dog Park will be reviewed to see when irrigation and seeding efforts can begin.
    • Enlargement of the East Park, Dog Park along with improved access will be reviewed and undertaken as time and budgets allow.
    • Further community planning will need to be done for additional dog park development while building on neighborhood activities to date

The Parks and Recreation Board is established to serve as a central point of communication for the parks and recreation interests of the county and as an advisory body to the county council. The PRB typically meets the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in Room 110 at the County Muncipal Building, 1000 Central Ave.

PRB Chair Chris Stubben commends Endeavor Working Dog Club saying it’s a good example of a dog club using local parks responsibly. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

PRB Member JoAnn Johnson makes the motion to accept the recommendations related to dogs in county facilities. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos County Community Services Director Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan speaks with Councilor Rick Reiss, the liaison to the Parks and Recreation Board. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos County Councilor Rick Reiss, the liaison to the Parks and Recreation Board addresses the board during Thursday’s meeting. He explained that it is important to begin thinking about what the Parks Division needs to do to gear up for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

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