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City of Santa Barbara Announces Opening of Off-Leash Dog Area at MacKenzie Park

Dog Area Open Today as Part of First Phase of Improvements at MacKenzie Park

The City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department opened a new off-leash dog area at MacKenzie Park today, Monday, June 24, 2019.

MacKenzie Park, at State and De La Vina Streets, was selected as the optimal Santa Barbara park location for an enclosed off-leash dog area through an extensive study and community engagement process. The park provides an area large enough for both large and small dog enclosures, is centrally located, and currently hosts canine training classes nearby.

“This is a new type of park space for Santa Barbara,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jill Zachary. “We are thrilled to be able to offer the off-leash dog area, and we have been very encouraged by the community’s enthusiasm for this project. We look forward to seeing many happy dogs taking advantage of their new favorite place for exercise and socialization.”

The half-acre area features two fully-fenced enclosures—one for small dogs under 20 pounds, and one for larger dogs. The off-leash dog area is located at the eastern end of the park, in an area that was previously underutilized. The addition of new benches, a drinking fountain, enhanced landscaping, and a new park plaza near the Calle Palo Colorado crosswalk are among the elements that comprise this first phase of improvements to be seen at MacKenzie Park. Further improvements to the park, including renovated restrooms and accessibility updates, will follow beginning later this year.

Funding for the off-leash dog area comes from the City’s General Fund.

The off-leash dog area is open 7:00 a.m. to sunset. Rules are posted on the enclosure fences, and the public is encouraged to take responsibility for their dogs and to take an active part in keeping this new community asset beautiful by cleaning up after pets and adhering to the posted regulations.
MacKenzie Park Off-Leash Dog Area Rules:

  • Dogs must be leashed when outside the fenced off-leash area.
  • Small dog area is intended for dogs under 20 pounds. Large dog area is for dogs over 20 pounds.
  • Immediately pick up dog waste and deposit in trash.
  • Fill or repair any holes dug.
  • Keep dogs in sight and under voice control at all times.
  • Current vaccinations, valid license, and official tag required.
  • Maximum two dogs per person.
  • Children under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Alcohol, food, and glass bottles not allowed.

Community members (and their dogs!) are invited to visit the newly-opened off-leash dog area beginning today, and all are invited to attend a grand opening ribbon-cutting event scheduled for July 11 at 11:00 a.m.

Questions about this project may be directed to City of Santa Barbara Capital Projects Supervisor George Thomson at (805) 560-5756 or

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2018
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