Mili, a Chihuahua owned by Rosil Rivera of Medford, sits in Garfield Park Tuesday in Ashland.

Ashland tries new rules on dogs in parks

The Ashland Parks and Recreation Department will loosen some of its rules banning dogs from most developed parks as soon as workers can install waste bag stations and signs notifying people of the changes.

That could take about two months, Parks Director Don Robertson estimated this week.

The elected Ashland Parks Commission, which governs park operations, voted Monday to allow dogs in nine neighborhood parks.

Dogs still are not allowed in Lithia Park or North Mountain Park, which has a natural area frequented by birds, beavers, muskrats, foxes and other wildlife.

Dogs must remain on leashes and must stay within 6 feet of sidewalks and paved paths. Dog owners also must carry bags to clean up dog waste and clean up any waste immediately. Failure to do so can result in a fine of about $200 per violation.

The parks that will be opened to dogs are Bluebird Park, Clay Street Park, Garden Way Park, Garfield Park, Hunter Park, the Railroad Park, Scenic Park, Sherwood Park and Triangle Park.

The changes are on a one-year trial basis. Parks commissioners will assess how the new rules work out after that time and decide whether to make the changes permanent, repeal them or change them.

The one-year trial begins once signs and waste bag stations have been installed at parks.

— Vickie Aldous

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