Contest opens to name Pleasanton's new dog park

Entries due by Aug. 31 for posting when park opens in October

Pleasanton will open its second dog park in October, an off-leash, fenced-in park on a two-acre site at the Lagoon Road/Bernal Avenue staging area of the Marilyn Murphy Kane Trail with separate runs and toys for large and small dogs.

But first, the dog park needs a name.

That doesn't mean top bidders can name the park after their pet or a member of the family, although such a cash contribution might have helped pay the city's $300,000 cost of building the park.

After all, a naming contest by the Fort Walton (Fla.) Chamber raised $8,000 toward its goal of getting its "Liza Jackson" (the contributor) dog park up and running. Anyone remember Millie Bush, the English Springer Spaniel who shared the White House with George and Barbara? Houston has a dog park named for Millie, no doubt after a naming-rights donation. Pilgrim Bark Park in Provincetown, Mass. has that colonial feel.

Other names are more basic, more regional. Magnuson Dog Park in Seattle, a city where there are more canines than kids, is simply part of the Magnuson neighborhood. The name Laurel Canyon Dog Park in Los Angeles tells you where it is, high in the hills off tony Mulholland Drive.

Montrose Beach Dog Park on Lake Michigan in Chicago and Point Isabel Dog Park in Richmond also lack the naming potential Pleasanton is hoping for. Richmond's park does offer naming creativity with its "Sit and Stay" for the gourmet cafe the city added as one of the 23-acre off-leash park's amenities.

Pleas for Pleasanton's second dog park to add to the almost hidden fenced-off strip in Muirwood Park go back to 2000, when Pleasanton acquired free-of-charge 138 of the 515 acre Bernal site that developers bought.

Pet lovers were ecstatic. This land, now called Bernal Community Park, had all the room needed for the many sports and 4-H demonstration fields planned there along with a youth center, cultural arts center, wooded trails and even a meandering creek with surely several acres left over for a dog park.

But then the City Council, in its wisdom or lack of it, specifically ruled out using any part of Bernal for a dog park when it sought voter approval in November 2006 of the greater park plan.

The current council, no doubt exasperated with all the dog talk and with several on the council who own dogs, gave the green light for the one at the foot of the Marilyn Murphy Kane Trail. The Tankana Design Group, a San Francisco-based landscape architecture and urban design firm, handled the design work.

There are 26,800 dogs in Pleasanton and if they could vote, they might name their new park Fido or Pedigree. But Susan Andrade-Wax, director of community services for the city, says that "despite all these pooches wagging their tails in excitement over the city's new off-leash dog park," only their two-legged leash-holders will pass muster in casting votes.

A panel of judges will screen all of the submissions and select three names to forward to the Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council for a final review and selection. The individual who comes up with the winning name will be featured in the city's Activities Guide and Pleasanton Weekly and will be acknowledged at a City Council meeting.

Entries will be accepted through Aug. 31. All entries must be submitted by mail or in person on an official entry form, which can be downloaded at

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2 people like this
Posted by L. Sexton
a resident of California Somerset
on Aug 30, 2016 at 5:57 pm

I grew up in Pleasanton/Livermore (since 1955) and I have had dogs all my life. I bred Lab. Retreivers for years and have dogs that are in the service to help people. I strongly feel that Livermore and Pleasanton are of the same community and I do a lot of things in Pleasanton. Our fire departments have joined resources - Livermore/Pleasanton combined and a lot of activities are shared between the 2 cities. I will enjoy the new dog park, as well. The naming rights should be opened to residents of both cities. Therefore I am entering the naming contest and asking you to reconsider this "over sight". Thank you

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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 30, 2016 at 8:06 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Naming rights typically come with payment contributions, if livermore pays for it sure open it up.

I'd take a different approach to this, perhaps more practical - ie how is 1 tied into the naming of 2 and perhaps a 3 and 4 while also providing some theme.

Geography within Pleasanton, famous local monuments, local sports teams, or go commercial and sell naming rights to local businesses

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood

on Aug 30, 2016 at 11:45 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

3 people like this
Posted by Clean it up
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 31, 2016 at 12:45 am

Considering how thoughtless our fellow pleasantonians are about picking the poop up from my lawn, there is really just one appropriate name. DogPoopville.

3 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Aug 31, 2016 at 7:29 am

Pleasanton's first dog park is a total failure because it is covered with wood chips, not grass. Wood chips get into the dogs' paws and can be painful. Virtually no one takes their dogs there. Unless they have been blind and deaf, surely the planners and designers of the new dog park are aware of this and are going to put in grass? If not, they should have saved their money and not built this dog park because it will just be a failure like the first one.

-A dog owner

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Foothill Place

on Aug 31, 2016 at 7:29 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

1 person likes this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 1, 2016 at 11:27 am

Poopy McPoop Place
Bark Park
Pleasanton Poopy Park
Dog Dump
Canine Corral
Who Let the Dogs In
The Flea Circus
Dog Den
Scentral Park
Bark Place
Fleas and Trees
Poop & Play
Paw Place
Tails A-waggin
Dog Wood Park

1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 1, 2016 at 11:41 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sam, I totally agree. We take our dog to Dublin. Curious, I kinda like Scentral Park!

Like this comment
Posted by Joe Streng
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 28, 2016 at 5:21 pm

Joe Streng is a registered user.

I'm on the Parks and Recreation Commission and I want to assure everyone that the new dog park has a fabricated wood chip that is very good for dog paws. We actually felt the chips during a meeting and they are very smooth, unlike the wood chips at the other park. We were unable to put grass in the park because of the massive amount of water it would take to maintain, but more importantly, because it doesn't last due to the amount of use it receives by the dogs. The new park will open on Nov. 5 and we hope to see you there!

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Jul 30, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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