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Leashes to be required for dog walking at McKinley Park

December 1, 2016

Off-leash demonstration zone comes to an end Dec. 31; Swan Creek Park to get off-leash area in 2018

Only leashed dogs will be allowed to visit McKinley Park beginning in 2017, in compliance with a provision outlined in the  McKinley Park Stewardship Plan, approved by city officials under the city’s  Critical Areas Protection Ordinance.

The goal is to protect the wetland, preserve wildlife habitat and provide appropriate recreational opportunities for the community.  

McKinley Park, at 907 Upper Park St., blankets nearly 27 acres on the north end of McKinley Hill, just south of Interstate 5 and the Tacoma Dome. For about eight years, the park has hosted a 7-acre, off-leash demonstration zone fenced only on the marshy, downhill side, adjacent to the freeway.

“McKinley Park contains critical wetland and buffer habitat that provide many ecological benefits,” said Mary Anderson, Metro Parks’ natural resources manager.

Metro Parks managers think an alternative site in Tacoma’s Eastside is more desirable and therefore plan to open a dog park at Swan Creek Park in 2018. This one will be a fully fenced off- leash dog park as opposed to the non-fenced area used at McKinley. In the meantime, off-leash alternatives include:

  • Rogers Park, 3151 E. L St., with 1 ½ acres fenced
  • Wapato Park, 6802 S. Sheridan Ave., with 3 acres fenced
  • Point Defiance Park, 5400 N. Pearl St., with 7 acres partially fenced.

Learn more about Metro Parks dog parks.

Familiarize yourself with McKinley Park.