Ash Avenue Dog Park opens after construction

New park is twice the size and has dog play equipment

About a half dozen dogs basked in the shade of Ash Avenue Dog Park on Tuesday afternoon enjoying the recently reopened park.

The park, closed for a year-and-a-half during construction on nearby Burnham Street, quietly opened its gates last week allowing dogs, and their two-legged owners, to relax and play.

The newly remodeled park is twice the size of the small property that existed before construction began.

Open from dawn to dusk, Ash Avenue Dog Park features drinking fountains for both dogs and people, trees and play equipment for the dogs.

'Before we came here only once in a great while, but now we're here everyday' said Lisa Chamberlin, who comes to the park with her 7-year-old Pekingese-Chihuaha, Tina. 'It's a lot nicer looking place and really good now.'

The park was demolished as crews worked on Burnham Street and adjoining Ash Avenue, but city officials promised to bring the park back with a makeover as soon as construction was finished.

The city asked for public input on what it wanted the dog park to look like, and took surveys from local dog park-enthusiasts and on a special Ash Avenue Dog Park Facebook page.

According to Kim McMillan, the engineering manager who oversaw the park's reconstruction, the work took about two months to complete.

Parade set for July 24

McMillan said there will be a special grand re-opening celebration for the park.

The official public celebration for both Burnham Street and the Dog Park will be July 24, McMillan saidand will include an all-dog parade down Main Street and Burnham Street to the park.

The event will also feature a scavenger hunt and chalk art contests for kids, McMillan said.

Tigard has a long history of dog parks. The first city in Washington County to establish off-leash parks, the city recently purchased Potso Dog Park, saving the longtime park from redevelopment.

'It's great to live in a city that listens to its citizens and values what dog parks bring to the livability of the city,' said Chris Garsteck, who heads the Tigard dog parks committee, when plans for the dog park were first released last year.

Although no head counts are ever taken, Garsteck estimates that during the summer about 200 people use the city's three dog parks every few hours.

According to city surveys, about one-third of people who use the Tigard dog parks come from outside the city, McMillan said.

That's not surprising, Garsteck said, since Tigard has more dog parks than any other city on Portland's west side.

Beaverton has one off-leash dog park and cities likes Tualatin and Sherwood don't have any.

People who want their pooch to play outside must drive to Tigard, Lake Oswego or Wilsonville, Garsteck said.

Ash Avenue Dog Park is located at 12770 S.W. Ash Avenue in Tigard and is open from dawn to dusk.