Help needed to work on off-leash dog park

The grassy field next to the head of the Cedar River Trail is quickly becoming Renton’s first off-leash dog park.

A waterline went in earlier this month at the site of the former NARCO brick plant, and a fence is going up around the 5-acre patch of city-owned ground this weekend.

The excavating and fencing was donated. A kiosk has also been donated for the park.

“This is all moving so fast for us,” says Lyla Smith, an active member of RUFF, a nonprofit whose full name is Renton’s Unleashed Furry Friends.

RUFF had raised the $20,000 required to build the park even before its sold-out fundraiser last weekend.

One hundred and fifty tickets were sold for that fundraising dinner, Barks & Beers! at the Dog & Pony Alehouse & Grill.

Through tickets and doggy merchandise sold, the dinner brought in a few thousand more dollars for RUFF, pushing the group’s total to around $25,0000, closer to the $50,000 it needs to raise this year and next year.

RUFF is holding a work party this weekend to fence in the city’s new dog park at the head of the Cedar River Trail just across the river from Carco Theater. The work starts Saturday at 7 a.m. and will continue Sunday. For more information about the dog park, or to sign up to volunteer, visit or e-mail RUFF at

The City of Renton is also helping fund the city’s new dog park. Renton City Council included $50,000 for the dog park in this year’s budget.

The city created a Dog Park Task Force last spring after years of dog-park requests.

RUFF hopes to have the dog park — still open for naming rights — open by the end of June. A grand opening celebration is planned for September.

But the nonprofit still needs help, with both labor and fundraising.

“We’re not done raising money… there’s a lot ahead of us and we need the community’s help,” Smith says.