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Olympia, which has no dog park, could soon get three. Here’s your chance to weigh in.

This Seattle dog takes the bus to the dog park -- by herself

Eclipse stars in a music video from the King County DOT. The black Labrador retriever mix is a regular on a bus route through Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. She also rides solo several times a week to a nearby dog park where she meets her owner.
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Eclipse stars in a music video from the King County DOT. The black Labrador retriever mix is a regular on a bus route through Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. She also rides solo several times a week to a nearby dog park where she meets her owner.

Dog owners, this is the news you’ve been waiting for: Olympia’s parks department is considering three sites for future dog parks, and it wants to hear from you.

Plans call for a 1-acre off-leash area at Evergreen Park off Cooper Point Road Southwest, a 3.6-acre area at Ward Lake Park off Yelm Highway Southeast, and a 6-acre area on an undeveloped property next to McLane Elementary School near Mud Bay Road Northwest.

Each plan includes trails and fenced areas for dogs to play. The Ward Lake and McLane Elementary plans include designated spaces for large and small dogs.

The city hopes to open all three to avoid overuse of any one park, said Laura Keehan, parks planning and design manager. The three sites were picked in part based on their distance from residential areas and each other.

Olympia’s only previous dog park at Sunrise Park closed in 2013 because of neighbor complaints.

“It was basically too popular for its own good because it was the only park,” Keehan said. “Any impact is magnified if there’s only one site.”

Since then, the city has heard from dog owners wanting another shot. The city also has had problems with people letting their dogs off leash in parks that don’t allow it.

The city will host an open house for people to learn about the sites and offer feedback from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 1 at Olympia City Hall, 601 Fourth Ave. E. It also is gathering feedback through an online survey at olympiawa.gov/dogparks until April 15.

Keehan could not say when any of the dog parks would open, noting they would still need to go through a permitting process.

Separately, the city is asking for feedback on plans to install mountain bike trails at Kaiser Woods near Ken Lake at olympiawa.gov/bikepark through April 14. These would be the first dedicated mountain bike trails in city parks.

That survey also asks people to suggest a name for the 68-acre park the city bought in 2015. The final selection will be made by City Council.

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