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2016 Calendar contest

Get your cameras out and start snapping pictures of your dog(s) for the seventh annual Park Pals calendar photo contest! Send your favorite picture(s) of your dog playing, sleeping, enjoying the park, etc. The front cover winner will be awarded a free calendar!

Changes from 2015 contest

• Entry fee has been eliminated.
• Photo can feature only one dog.

In the past we’ve allowed people to enter multiple photos featuring the same dog. The committee has then picked one of those photos. We’ve seen some beautiful photos of the same dog and it can be challenging to pick one to be entered in the calendar contest. This year the dog’s owner gets to make the decision as to which photo to enter.

• Contest is open only to patrons of French Lake Park in Federal Way.
• Only digital photos will be accepted. Photos must be 800 pixels wide or larger and not modified. (Our editor will make any necessary corrections for lighting, color, etc.)
• Owner can enter only one photo per dog. If you have two or more dogs, you can submit a photo of each dog.
• No humans are allowed in photo. People’s hands, etc. should not show in picture.
• No copyrighted photos will be accepted.
• No professional photographer advertising will be permitted.
• If photo is submitted by person other than owner, owner’s permission is required.
• Photos must be received by contest deadline: Monday, September 21, 2015.
• Photos will be used on Park Pals’ website.

To enter contest:
Fill out the online form and attach your photo(s).

Memorial page
If your dog passed away after September 2014, fill out the memorial entry form. His/her photo will be placed on the memorial page.



  • Do submit the original photo. The calendar editor will make any lighting, cropping, etc., changes needed.
  • You can use a digital camera or even a cell phone to take pictures. The winning photo two years ago was taken with a cell phone.
  • The dog is the focus of the picture, not the background scenery.
  • If you submit a photo from the index of a CD, the photo will pixelate when enlarged.

The following photo was taken in 2006. The photo shows a group of people and dogs. If the photo were to be submitted as an entry and the Airedale (photo center) was the dog entered, the photo pixelates when enlarged.

Mandy cropped to 6X4Mandy Cropped





It’s been 10 years!

Way back in  2005, dog-loving French Lake Park patrons (many of whom had been using the park as an “unofficial” dog park) convinced  the Federal Way City Council to authorize the park as a city-approved off-leash park on a 12-month trial basis. An ordinance approving that trial took effect in July, 2005.

In spring 2006, park patrons learned that the city park staff wanted to extend the trial period. Park Pals (at that time, our informal park patrons’ group) and concerned users persuaded members of the Parks, Recreation, & Public Safety Council Committee to end the trial period and recommend that the park receive official off-leash status. The  City Council approved the revision and passed an ordinance  in the summer of 2006 making French Lake Park the official off-leash dog park in Federal Way.

Driven largely by volunteer and patron efforts, numerous fund-raisers  by Park Pals (since 2007 a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit), generous individual donations and with some wonderful support by several Federal Way businesses, the park has been significantly upgraded. At its inception, the park had waste baskets only at the front gate and directly up the hill, approximately 75 feet into the park. Since the park’s inception:

*five “doggie”stations (waste baskets and plastic waste pick-up bags) have been added;

*five benches have been added

*a water fountain was installed in 2012.

*several stainless-steel water bowls have been added

*this winter, a much-cherished water hydrant was installed near the fountain, enhancing the ability to quickly get water to take out to the water bowls spread throughout our 10-acre park.

The majority of these additions have been procured due to the efforts of Park Pals and its generous donors and volunteers.

Happy Anniversary, French Lake Dog Park!!!

Kiosk2006 Kiosk

Improvements made by the Parks Department

The volunteers did a great job in cleaning up the park earlier in March. The Federal Way Parks Department has made a number of improvements that will make a great difference to park users. They have fixed the fountain, added a water spigot, worked on the drainage problem at the park, and added some plantings to the entrance area.


The water fountain was donated by Park Pals in 2012. Unfortunately, it didn’t work well and always seemed to need work. The Parks Dept. added a filter that will keep the fountain from clogging. It really works well now. They also added a pump by the fountain that can be used to fill basins and water bowls.  It is set in a deep well of round river rocks for drainage.

Entrance 1Entrance 2Front DrainageFront Fountain 2Front Fountain 13-19-15 Park

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