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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Contact:
Keith Eisner, PIO, 786-5245

Leash Cutting Ceremony Opens County Off-Leash Dog Area, Oct. 29


Dogs of all shapes, colors and sizes, and their owners will celebrate the county's first off-leash dog area with a "leash-cutting" ceremony on Friday, October 29 at noon at the site located near the county's Waste and Recovery Center at Hawks Prairie near Lacey.

Thurston County residents and their dogs are invited to the celebration which will feature brief remarks by county officials and community supporters. The five-acre facility, open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week, features a special area for shy and small dogs, a sand and gravel area, paths and fencing. Hours of operation will expand during the summer months.

Dogs of all shapes, colors and sizes, and their owners will celebrate the county's first off-leash dog area with a "leash-cutting" ceremony on Friday, October 29 at noon at the site located near the county's Waste and Recovery Center at Hawks Prairie near Lacey.

Thurston County residents and their dogs are invited to the celebration which will feature brief remarks by county officials and community supporters. The five-acre facility, open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week, features a special area for shy and small dogs, a sand and gravel area, paths and fencing. Hours of operation will expand during the summer months.

"This is a very exciting and long anticipated event," says Commissioner Sandra Romero. "We've received many calls asking about when this park would open. October 29th will bring a lot of joy to people and pets, and we expect to see a boon to businesses in the immediate area."

The free park also includes a large, dogbone-shaped patio and decorative fire hydrants. The patio consists of personalized "tribute" bricks available for purchase from Thurston County Animal Services, 352-2510. Proceeds from the sale of the sand-blasted and engraved bricks will benefit the Hawks Prairie facility and other future off-leash areas in the county.

"We've studied off-leash dog areas around the region and the country to come up with the best facility possible for county residents and their dogs," says project manager Scott Schimelfenig of Thurston County Public Works. "We've also benefitted from great support and input from South Sound Hounds and Animal Services.”

Schimelfenig urges those attending the ceremony to carpool. "Currently, parking is very limited," he says. A separate, parking lot with direct access to the off-leash area will be completed in early 2011. In the meantime, visitors will enter through the Closed Loop Park parking area.

Details on the facility are available at the county's Public Works office at 754-4580.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3