According to Bangor Daily NewsBaxter Woods Park is one of the few off-leash parks in Portland, but that "run" may soon come to an end. The rule inside the park right now is that a dog may be off leash if under voice control and within 50 feet of their owner.

Right on Stevens Ave. in Portland is a neighborhood treasure, Baxter Woods Park. Not only is it enjoyed by individuals and families, but also by dogs. It's one of the few places dogs can run around freely, play fetch, catch and get their ya-yas out. Those days might be coming to an end if Portland Parks has their way.

According to the department, there have been dozens of complaints over the years concerning owners not collecting pet waste and concern over other animals well-being in the wildlife preserve, because of the dogs. Also, since Baxter Park is a living classroom visited by many students every year, there is also concern about kids being approached by dogs. There are some kids who are terrified by them.

There are many, many responsible dog owners who clean up not only after their own pet, but others as well. One problem seems to be when dogs run out of sight into the woods where owners don't see the mess they should be collecting. Unfortunately, school kids exploring and hikers do see it.

The conversation will continue, and other alternatives are already being discussed.

The change will require approval from the Portland City Council because the preserve is specifically included in the ordinance section as allowing dogs to run free.

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