Where would we be without a good friend...perhaps like you? 

You can help make the

Arcata Dog Park a reality! 

Here's how:

Below are the City Council members, department staff, and committee chairs who play a role in the conversation about and approval of the Arcata Dog Park.  You can contact them via email or telephone or set up a visit in person.  Following the list of relevant players in this process are details on various meetings where this issue will be discussed and some models for how you might want to structure your communication.


City Council


Michael Winkler - mwinkler@cityofarcata.org, 822-1857

Brett Watson , Mayor - BWatson@cityofarcata.org, 822-8018

Susan Ornelas- sornelas@cityofarcata.org, 826-2722

Paul Pitino - ppitino@cityofarcata.org, 822-2556

Sofia Pereira, spereira@cityofarcata.org, 633-8014


Karen Diemer, City Manager - 822-5953, citymgr@cityofarcata.org




Parks and Recreation


Heather Stevens - hstevens@cityofarcata.org, 825-2150

Nancy Stark, Chair Parks and Recreation Committee - nancystark@hotmail.com, 362-6875

Community Development

David Loya - dloya@cityofarcata.org, 822-5955

Environmental Services


Mark Andre, Director -  mandre@cityofarcata.org, 822-8184



Meetings where you can speak briefly or ask to be on the agenda:


City Council meets the first and third Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 7th & F Streets.


Open Space and Agriculture Committee meets the second Monday of the month in the City Council Chambers on 7th and F Streets


Parks and Recreation Committee meets the second Wednesday every month at 6 p.m. in the meeting room at the Arcata Community Center (across from HealthSport)


What should you say or write?


Do you know you want the park to happen but are not sure how to address the issue in comments at a meeting or in writing?   Here are some ideas to help you begin to think about what you might say or write.  It’s a good idea to focus on the benefits of the dog park the community, its residents, and its visitors.


The Arcata Dog Park will:


  • will provide a safe space for dogs to exercise, run free, and play

  • offer further protection of our natural habitat at the off-leash beaches by providing an alternate place for dogs to run

  • slow down the pace and energy of walking a leashed dog at the marsh or in the forest

  • will be a huge draw for tourists who travel with their dogs, an increasingly common reality

  • will have a positive effect on the health of your dog


You may want to share that when you travel, you plan your lodging at a place that is pet friendly and near a dog park.


Discuss the benefits of the proposed location of the Arcata Dog Park.  You want want to express that the area next to the Arcata Marsh is a perfect location for a well-designed dog park that might even include an agility site.  A dog park at this property will add beauty and function to the marsh, especially since the plan includes an extension of the marsh trail system outside the fenced dog park.


You may want to discuss the fact the proposed area has been an eyesore for more than two decades as people walk/bike or drive to the marsh down South I Street.   You may also want to point out that it would be good timing for the City to take advantage of the work and energy of the Arcata Dog Park Working Group whose members are willing to do the work and raise the funds to make the park a reality.


It’s useful to make the point that dog parks are as common as softball fields now and question why Arcata still does not have one. 


You can point out that for older adults and people with a disability, the Arcata Dog Park would be a boon because it will be an off-leash park in Arcata that is accessible so they will be able to exercise their dogs.   Even Hiller Park in McKinleyville, which is an off-leash park with no fence, is not accessible to people using a wheelchair or a walker. 


The dog park would also benefit those who do not have a yard or who do have sufficient room for their dogs to exercise.


Your comments or letters do not have to be long.   It’s just important to register to the people making the decisions about the dog park in Arcata that the park has strong community support.  Our pups can bark for the park, but we need to write, call, or meet in person to show we want to make the Arcata Dog Park a reality!


There now.  Don't you feel better?


What do you mean Arcata doesn't have a dog park?!

Want to feel even better? Think about adopting a dog!  Here's a great resource on the lifetime cost of having a pet in your life.  Remember:  lots of critters are in shelters awaiting a home and family of their own!

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