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Ashland plans dog forum

The Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission is hosting a community forum about the parks department policy that keeps dogs out of most developed parks.

The forum begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, in Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way, across from Lithia Park.

Parks officials said the conflict between those who want dogs in parks and those who don't want to encounter dogs is increasing annually.

"We are hoping for a large turnout of people with views on whether or not dogs should be allowed in parks, and which parks should or should not include dogs," said Parks Commission Chairman Mike Gardiner.

Dogs are not allowed in Lithia Park or Ashland's neighborhood parks, but they are allowed at the dog park, on many trails and in many parks that are undeveloped or in wooded areas.

Dog owners are often asked to remove their dogs from Lithia and other parks. There are several reasons dogs are excluded from parks, including sanitation, protection of flora and fauna, and concerns for others' safety, parks officials said.

He said one of the most frequently asked questions heard by parks workers is, "Where can I take my dog?"

Current dog-friendly park facilities in Ashland include:

  • Hald-Strawberry Park
  • Siskiyou Mountain Park
  • Oredson-Todd Woods
  • Cottle Property
  • Liberty Street Access
  • Bear Creek Greenway
  • Granite Street property
  • Burnson property
  • Lawrence property
  • Ashland Dog Park
  • On the roadway of South Pioneer Street as it winds through Lithia Park

A map of the areas can be found online at www.ashland.or.us/dogfriendly or in a brochure distributed at the Ashland Parks & Recreation office, 340 S. Pioneer St.

For information, call 541-488-5340.

— Ashland Daily Tidings