dog park

Clay Mitchell plays fetch with his dog Doug on Thursday at Ray Hugie Hydro Park in Logan.

Visitors to some of Logan’s parks may have noticed new “no dog” signs.

Because Logan recently approved a pilot program to allow dogs in parks, these signs have led to some confusion among residents. However, Parks and Recreation Director Russ Akina said the signs do not indicate changes in the already established pilot program.

“They were put up in an effort to help people know which parks were not part of the pilot program,” Akina said.

Akina said the places where the signs may have led to the most confusion are Merlin-Olsen Park, Hyrum Gibbons Park and Adams Park. These parks have sidewalks through them and dog owners have always been allowed to walk their animals on-leash on the park sidewalks.

“That is the only exception,” Akina said.

Logan’s trial period for dogs in parks began in April after Municipal Council members voted to allow dogs in seven city parks. These parks included Jens Johansen Park, Jones Neighborhood Park, Kilowatt Park, Logan Meadows Park, Pioneer Park, Ray Hugie Hydro Park, and the northeast lawn area of the Logan Service Center.

“Our goal as a city is to really try and make our parks usable and available for as many people as possible,” Mayor Holly Daines said.

The success of the program will be evaluated next year, and if council members feel it went well, dogs may be permanently allowed in more city parks.

Nearly three and a half months into the program, Akina said city staff are working to provide continued education as the public learns what is and isn’t accepted as part of the pilot program.

“We think another dose of education and information is the next step,” Akina said.

In addition to signs, Akina said the city has periodically sent out press releases to remind people of the program’s details. He said how well people follow the rules of the pilot program will be key to whether or not the city permanently allows dogs in parks.

“We consider it (a pilot program) to be a best management practice in terms of how to bring something forward that hasn’t been the city’s practice,” Akina said. “For us, this seemed like a good way to examine it, test it.”

One thing Daines wanted to remind dog owners of is the importance of cleaning up after their animals.

Because city maintenance teams have to mow the lawns each week, she said it is easy to gauge if pet waste in parks is going up or down. She said she knows many citizens not only clean up after their pets, but after other animals as well, and appreciates this effort

“Hopefully we can keep a balance and allow our parks to be used by all groups of people,” Daines said.