Park Plans Considered

Casey Miller, Staff Writer

After Moraga citizens voiced concerns over whether or not to physically separate the off-leash dog area and the children’s playground at Rancho Languna Park, two contrasting blueprints, containing plans for an almost entirely new park layout, have been produced and presented to the Town Council.

Rancho Laguna currently contains a playground for children and an open, unfenced area for dogs and children to share. Dogs are permitted to roam free, off-leash, before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. until the park closes.
There are currently no restrictions or physical barriers separating the dogs from the children at the park.

However, with dogs and kids playing in the same area, “there are a few problems,” junior Caroline Bell explained. “The grass is always soggy from the dogs, and you can’t barbeque or picnic at night because the dogs are always there.”
Two plans have been submitted to the Town Council for a new layout of the Rancho Laguna Park. One of these blueprints includes both a sports field and a multi-use field for kids, with about an acre left for a designated dog area.

The other plan proposes one large field and a more substantial dog park.  This second plan is designed to accommodate a bigger soccer field, as well as a three-acre area designated for park users of the canine variety. Dog-owners may prefer this option, which gives their pets more space to roam freely, without the safety concerns associated with having dogs and children in close proximity.

The second plan is also less expensive for the town to construct.
“The ideal solution should come from the community that uses the park,” said Jay Ingram, Moraga recreation director. “There are Boy Scout overnights, end-of-the-year class parties, dog walkers, and people playing quick pick-up games of wiffleball. The community will come up with the best solution. However, the park has been naturally rural and rustic for years, and I would like to see it kept that way.” Ingram invites community members to voice their plan preference to the Town Council as it continues to weight the alternatives.
“It’s really a tug-o-war right now between ideas. There are so many different choices to make,” Moraga resident and Rancho Laguna Park goer Nancy Bluford added. “The real question is, to fence the kids or the dogs?