Skip to main content

The City Journals

Salt Lake County considering Bluffdale, Kearns, Magna for off-leash dog parks

Oct 03, 2019 03:01PM ● By Stephanie Yrungaray

Wardle Fields Regional Park concept plans to include an off-leash dog park were displayed at an open house. (Stephanie Yrungaray/City Journals)

By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]

A concept plan for a regional scale off-leash dog park that could be constructed at Wardle Fields Regional Park in Bluffdale was presented to the public Aug. 22.

The open house, held at the J.L. Sorenson recreation center was the first of three held by Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation to answer questions and gather public opinion on dog park amenities and concepts. Concept plans were created for three potential locations: Wardle Fields Regional Park, Lodestone Regional Park in Kearns and the future Magna Regional Park. 

“The three different parks all have concept plans that are very similar,” said Ken Richley, Salt Lake County Park Development project manager. “The point is a regional scale amenity just like a soccer complex or a baseball complex. It has separate parking, central nodes with a pavilion and a restroom, and all have three separate areas for dogs. Two larger dog areas that we could rotate to let turf rest, and one smaller area for smaller dogs.” 

This project was started in 2008 with the creation of the Off-Leash Dog Park Master Plan, which identified the need for dog park amenities. In 2017, county leaders started to dive deeper into the plan with a suitability matrix that eventually led to the selection of these three locations. The plan is for the eventual development of two or three off-leash regional dog parks ranging in size from 5 to 10 acres. 

Richley said while there is no current funding plan for the dog parks, officials are moving forward with planning to be prepared when money for the projects is secured. 

“As planners, we like to have things ready,” Richley said. “It's so much easier to tell the story of where, what it's going to look like and what it is going to cost. That's where we are in the process.” 

Traci Crockett, a Bluffdale resident and planning commission member who is running for city council, attended the open house. 

“I wanted to see what is on the master plan and the process for getting it there,” said Crockett. “There’s not a dog park in the area, and as I’ve been out campaigning, I’ve had several people ask if I’ve heard anything about it.” 

Crockett said although the project appears to be a long way from actually starting, it could potentially benefit Bluffdale residents. 

“Wardle Park is one of our biggest amenities,” said Crockett. “The front area of the park with the playground and splash pad is very seasonal. We are trying to get commercial near [the park], and if [the dog park] is something where people are coming in the winter, I think it would be helpful to our economic development.”

Richley said they want people to understand that they aren’t taking the worst corner of the park and fencing it and turning it into dog park. 

“We are treating it as another phase of the regional park,” he said. “[Dogs] are constituents that matter just as much as other constituents.” 

Interested residents who were unable to attend an open house can access all project information and provide feedback at slco.org/parks-recreation/planning/dog-parks or via email at [email protected] .