These Parks Are for the Dogs! 15

Community dog lovers recently celebrated the official opening of three new neighborhood off-leash areas (OLAs) with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony. Two dogs “volunteered” to hold the ribbon, while others participated in a game of chase over, under and around the ribbon holders. A mega ball toss featured 20 dogs chasing tennis balls thrown at the same time, and a beginner’s agility course provided an opportunity for dogs to try the sport.

Launched as a temporary six-month pilot program spearheaded by the Conejo Off-Leash Area (COLA) Friends, the three OLAs were made permanent after a successful six months of use by the community. Located in existing neighborhood parks (Kimber, Estella and Walnut Grove), the OLAs have proven to enhance community interaction.

“In addition to providing a safe place for our dogs to run and play off leash, the OLAs also allow for neighbors to meet and visit with each other while the dogs play,” said one community supporter and COLA member. The nonprofit, community-run organization COLA and the Conejo Recreation & Park District collaborated on the creation and maintenance of the neighborhood OLAs.

With a mission to “promote enjoyable and safe use of Conejo Valley off-leash areas and support fun and educational opportunities that lead to positive canine-human interactions,” COLA seeks to facilitate the establishment of more off-leash areas in the community. To get involved as an OLA Ambassador or to donate funds for the installation of drinking fountains at the existing OLAs, visit ConejoOffLeash.org.