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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204



1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1302
Portland, Oregon 97204

503-823-PLAY (7529)

Stefanus Gunawan, Community Engagement & Public Involvement Assistant


Brett Horner, Planning Manager


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Grant Park Dog Off-Leash Area (DOLA)

Project Background

In 2015, the Grant Park Neighborhood Association submitted an application through the Parks Proposal Process requesting a permanent, fenced Dog Off-Leash Area (DOLA) in Grant Park. The Neighborhood Association submitted the Parks Proposal based on their experience that the current system of alternating DOLA sites was problematic. Three possible fenced alternatives were identified as supportable by PP&R staff and the GPNA. 

In October 2015, PP&R worked with the GPNA to host a public meeting to provide the community with the opportunity to review and discuss the alternatives. At the end of this process, PP&R committed to working with the GPNA to develop Option A. 

Since that time, PP&R has determined that locating a permanent fenced DOLA in the location of Option A is no longer possible (see Project Update - January 26, 2016), due to the close proximity to park neighbors and other site concerns (trees, grading, and drainage). These same concerns led to the closure of the fall Off-Leash Area in 2016.

Project Update - March 27, 2017

PP&R plans to hold a community meeting on April, 20, 2017 to discuss the future of the Dog Off-Leash Area and how we can improve its function and compatibility in the park. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017   |   6:30 - 8:00PM
Grant Park Church
2728 NE 34th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97212

Project Update - January 26, 2016

PP&R Designates Future Fenced Dog Off-Leash Area (DOLA) Location at Grant Park

Based on community feedback, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has designated a future location for a fenced DOLA. The designated location will be north of the asphalt pathway, between NE 35th Ave and NE 35th Pl on the north side of the park. The fenced DOLA will be built when funding is available.

The current system of alternating DOLA sites between the Fall DOLA and the Winter/Spring/Summer DOLA next to the soccer field has proven to be problematic over the years. Issues include:

  • Confusion of which DOLA is active throughout the seasons
  • Non-compliance of leash laws by dog owners who allow dogs off leash outside of the DOLAs
  • Collisions of dogs with bicyclists and pedestrians on the asphalt pathways next to the open DOLAs
  • Conflicts between dogs and sports users on the field adjacent to the Winter/Spring/Summer DOLA

In recent years, the public has requested a fenced DOLA to resolve these ongoing issues through PP&R’s Project Proposal Process. After thorough review, PP&R identified three possible locations for a permanently fenced DOLA at Grant Park. PP&R worked closely with Grant Park Neighborhood Association (GPNA) representatives to engage the public in the process of finding a solution. 

On October 1, 2015, GPNA and PP&R held a public meeting at Grant Park Baptist Church for the public to provide input concerning the DOLA improvements. More than 50 people representing nearby neighborhoods, Hollywood/Portland Youth Soccer, and nearby schools attended the meeting. Participants provided feedback regarding the three options for a fenced DOLA in the park (see Grant DOLA Service Areas.) 

After the meeting, PP&R asked attendees to complete a survey, which was also available online for two weeks, and coordinated with GPNA to share the survey through their website, a private social network called Nextdoor, and their Facebook page. 230 individuals participated in the Grant Park DOLA Survey. As a result, PP&R made an informed decision on designating Option A (see Survey Summary) as the future fenced DOLA location based on the majority view of participants.

The project is estimated to cost $19,000 for fencing, irrigation capping and modification, and surface improvements. Since the fenced DOLA project will cost more than $10,000, the project will be added to PP&R’s Capital Improvement Project (CIP) list. Community fundraising would allow the project to move forward more quickly. At a recent Board Meeting, GPNA pledged $500 toward the DOLA project. The present DOLAs at Grant Park will continue to alternate seasonally as usual until funding can be secured for the project.

Click to view enlarged map.

Grant Park Historical Information

The park is named after Ulysses S. Grant who visited Portland three times, a rare thing for a president to do in the days before air travel - or even before standardized rail travel! Grant was first assigned to Fort Vancouver where he made friends with many of Portland's politicians. 

Grant Park was the setting for many scenes in children's books by Beverly Cleary. In 1991, a group of teachers, librarians, and business people formed the Friends of Henry & Ramona, and began to raise funds for the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children. Portland artist Lee Hunt created life-sized bronze statues of three of Cleary's best-loved characters - Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Henry's dog Ribsy. Scattered around the concrete slab are granite plaques engraved with the titles of the Cleary books that take place in Portland - and a map of the neighborhood showing where events in the books "really happened." The Sculpture Garden was dedicated on October 13, 1995. 

For more information, contact Stefanus Gunawan at
503-823-5493 or