Dog park sought in Paso

A local group of dog enthusiasts is working to devote approximately 1 acre of land for off-leash friends somewhere in Paso Robles.

Parks-4-Pups is proposing to build and maintain a fenced off-leash dog park on city-owned property at no expense to the taxpayers, according to the group’s plans.

Locals desire another park in the North County, Parks-4-Pups President Paula O’Farrell said. More than one-third of the total donors who support Templeton’s Vineyard Dog Park, which the group established in 2009, are from Paso Robles, she added.

There are five dog parks in the county — one each in Atascadero, Cambria and Nipomo and two in San Luis Obispo. Another off-leash area is in the works in Morro Bay.

“By creating a dog park in convenient neighborhood locations, residents have the option to walk instead of drive to a park,” O’Farrell wrote in the plan.

A plot of land has not been selected, but because the proposal won approval last week from the Paso Robles Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, city staff can now work with the group to find a location.“This was the outcome that we were hoping for,” O’Farrell said.

The City Council is to review the plan and potential locations at a date to be determined.

The group also runs Heilmann Dog Park in Atascadero, which opened in 2005. Total project costs, estimated to be about $35,000, would be shared through construction loans from San Luis Obispo Parks, Open Space & Trails Foundation, donors and various fundraising events, according to the plan.

Volunteers with the group would then maintain the park.

Up to three dog playgrounds could be built, the plan states, with two for general play. A third could be rented to dog groups for meetings, dog obedience classes or training clinics and bring potential revenue to the city.

This isn’t the group’s first effort in Paso Robles. Parks-4-Pups is in its third year of maintaining the Centennial Park Walking Trail, which the group helped open to Paso Robles dog walkers. Its volunteers monitor the trail on a weekly basis by picking up litter, restocking the dispensers and reporting trail hazards, O’Farrell said.