Most recent revisions are in italics.
It is gratifying to see so many dogs walking their owners on our walking paths through the wonderful expanse of Natural Growth Protection Areas that surrounds our homes. But with this privilege comes responsibility. These areas are a joint protected development project of the Washington Department of Ecology and the Army Corps of Engineers. Their rules state that “as a protected wetlands and nature habitat, walking is permitted only on prepared pathways and boardwalks. No human (homeowner or otherwise) or pet of any such individual is permitted off the designated paths”. The only exception to this rule is for the crews hired by the Corps of Engineers to conduct periodic maintenance of the areas which are not the responsibility of the Meadows-Ferndale Homeowners’ Association (e.g., paths and bridges).
We must ensure that we fulfill the “protection” role that comes with our freedom to use the area for recreation. This means staying on the paths so as not to disturb either the natural growth or the critters that might inhabit the area. It also means keeping all pets on leashes at all times and cleaning up after ourselves and our pets. No littering or deposit of organic waste. As a matter of fact, this applies equally well to all of our streets and walkways.
The Homeowners’ Board of Directors is considering the installation of waste bag dispensers and deposit containers at the walking path “trail heads”, but such a step would not be without drawbacks: the dispensers and containers would require maintenance and upkeep. They would incur a cost to the community and could be visually intrusive.
The “bottom line”: please help protect and maintain our neighborhood’s common areas and ensure that they remain a valuable asset to our community and our lifestyle.