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!!!
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.