Letters to the editor | March 21 edition

A reader writes in about a proposed dog park at Wax Orchard.


Wax Orchard proposal would co-exist with existing uses

In response to recent questions regarding a dog park on Vashon Island, we’d like to share the following information with our neighbors.

Public involvement: Good news! A public process is underway. More than 200 residents participated in a 2022 King County forum and a solid majority (64%) agreed that “A dog park for Vashon is a high priority.”

After purchasing the Wax Orchard property in fall 2022, King County has been open about its plans for the property. Two surveys have been administered, including calls for residents to discuss various options. Over 66% of 1200+ residents supported the idea of an off-leash park at the site.

King County has suggested a dog park pilot project might be a next step; the county will conduct environmental assessments, assess watersheds, and complete all the required administrative steps.

Concerning the Wax Orchard location: More good news! We love Wax Orchard too and are grateful for preserving 110 acres of forest, meadow, and pond.

These are the parameters in the current proposal:

  • The meadow, existing fencing, and iconic views should be preserved.
  • Create trails by mowing grass — no gravel or pavement.
  • Share fencing with the SheepDog Classic — not chain link.
  • No proximity to the pond.
  • No public restrooms or porta-potties.
  • Monitored frequently with maintenance by volunteers.

Finding Another Potential Location: Let’s collaborate in locating a property while the King County process continues. Although it’s wise to have backup options, it’s crucial to dispel any notion that no alternative site has been explored.

Several proposals have been considered and rejected by King County Parks and Vashon Parks over the past decade. Rejected locations included Sunrise Ridge, Frog Holler, Agren Park, Marine Park, Winghaven Park, and a 2-acre portion of Paradise Ridge’s equestrian park.

Let’s remain focused on finding a practical solution that benefits both our two-legged and four-legged residents.

Passionate about advancing the dog park initiative? Visit the FIDO website (friendsintodogs.org) and join our mailing list.

– FIDO Board of Directors (Carol Ellis, Katrin Fletter, Mindy Melville, Ethan Russo, Deborah Salas, Sylvia Soholt, Byron Whitt)