Metal detecting is not allowed at Seattle parks

Rare plants, unique seashells, original artworks and other treasures fill our parks. But these treasures should be left alone for the enjoyment of all. Removing materials from a Seattle Park is prohibited.

We also don’t allow metal detecting and digging in Seattle parks. Although the Park Code doesn’t specifically cite metal detecting, SMC 18.12.070 prohibits anyone from removing (or destroying, mutilating, or defacing) lawn, sand, soil, sod, or pretty much anything found in a park. We know there are leave-no-trace metal detectors, but many people are not and, as a result, park turf, vegetation, and irrigation systems have suffered. So, we ask everyone to do no metal detecting anywhere in the parks.

As outlined in the Seattle Municipal Code 18.12.070:

It is unlawful for any person except a duly authorized Department of Parks and Recreation or other City employee in the performance of his or her duties, or other person duly authorized, to remove, destroy, mutilate or deface any structure, lawn, monument, statue, planter, vase, fountain, wall, fence, railing, vehicle, bench, shrub, tree, geological formation, plant, flower, lighting system, sprinkling system, gate, barricade or lock or other property lawfully in any park, or to remove sand, soil, sod, or water from any park.

Please leave plants, artifacts, flowers, and features for everyone to enjoy!

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Dogs must be on leash in parks

After the wettest winter in recent Seattle history, we’re sure you and your four-legged best friend are itching to get outside! We have 14 off-leash dog parks where Fido can run free. Dogs in parks, however, must always be on leash and dogs are prohibited, even on leash, on beaches, in play areas, on athletic fields, and in ponds, fountains or streams.

Animal Control officers are charged with providing a safe, healthy and caring environment where animals and people can co-exist. To carry out their mission, Animal Control staff help to educate dog owners and actively enforce Seattle’s leash, scoop and license laws. Officers patrol in Seattle parks to ensure the safe and appropriate use of both the off-leash and on-leash areas. Fines for off-leash, license and scooping violations range from $50 to $150, and can be $500 at a beach.
To report violations, call Animal Control at 206-386-7387.

Dogs are not allowed at organized athletic fields, beaches, or children’s play areas in Seattle parks, per the Seattle Municipal Code. Outside of off-leash areas, dogs must be on a leash at all times.

  • You must leash your dog when it is outside the off-leash area; you must carry a leash for each dog while you are inside the off-leash area (SMC 9.25) and (SMC 18.12.080).
  • You are liable for damage or injury inflicted by your dog(s) (SMC 18.12.080).
  • You must be in control of your dog(s) at all times (SMC 18.12.080).
  • You must muzzle dogs that exhibit dangerous or aggressive behavior; biting, fighting, and excessive barking are not allowed (SMC 9.25).
  • You must clean up after your dog(s) and deposit feces in the containers at the site, and you must visibly carry scoop equipment (SMC 9.25) and (SMC 18.12.080).
  • You must closely supervise young children.
  • Bring food into off-leash areas at your own risk.
  • Leave bicycles outside off-leash area.
  • Unattended dogs are not allowed in off-leash areas.
  • Female dogs in heat are not allowed in off-leash areas (SMC 9.25).
  • Puppies younger than four months of age  are not allowed in off-leash areas.
  • Dogs must be licensed and vaccinated to visit off-least areas (SMC 9.25) and (SMC 18.12.080).
  • Pinch or choke collars must be removed in off-leash areas.

If you see unattended dogs or other rule violations should call Animal Control at 206-386-7387.

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Please don’t smoke in City parks

Seattle’s public parks are smoke-free! Smoke-free parks further Seattle Parks and Recreation’s mission by creating a safe, welcoming environment for all park users, promoting healthy lifestyles and reducing litter.

Did you know that cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, with an estimated 5 trillion discarded each year? Filters are made of cellulose acetate, a plastic, and can take countless years to biodegrade. Help us promote healthy lifestyles and protect the environment by keeping smoking out of our parks.

Parks Code of Conduct Rule 3.2.10

“It is a violation of these rules for any person to smoke or light cigars, cigarettes, hookahs, tobacco, or other smoking material, within all publicly accessible portions of property under Parks’ jurisdiction. For the purposes of this section, “smoke” or “smoking” means the carrying, holding, or smoking of any kind of lighted pipe, cigar or cigarette or any other lighted smoking equipment, but does not include any electronic smoking device in which vaporized liquid is inhaled through the use of heat from an electronic ignition system (for example, e-cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic cigarillos, electronic pipes, vape-pens).”

Smoking cessation resources:
If you would like to quit smoking, here are some resources:

English: 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669
Spanish: 1-855-DEJELO-YA or 1-855-335-3569
Chinese 1-800-838-8917
Korean: 1-800-556-5564
Vietnamese: 1-800-778-8440
TTY Line and video relay: 1-877-777-6534 (for hearing impaired)

Have Medicaid? Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to be connected with your FREE resources.

Enforcement of the new rule will primarily be a matter of education and reminders from Park Rangers and police officers. To report a non-emergency nuisance activity, use the non-emergency number 206-625-5011.

Park visitors who have been given a written trespass warning for smoking in a park can set up a meeting to dispute the claim by emailing or by calling 206-684-4075.

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Drones and rockets prohibited at City parks

Our parks offer beautiful scenery with the potential for outstanding photos. We encourage you get out and take pictures of the incredible wildlife, plants, and views that our open spaces offer; however, using a drone for photography – or any other purpose – is prohibited.

City law prohibits drones and other remote-controlled aircraft in parks. Drones have injured people by crashing into them and alarmed people by nearly crashing into them. Drones have annoyed people with their noise, and people have expressed privacy concerns about drone use. Drones have also harmed wildlife, in at least one instance causing an osprey to abandon the eggs in its nest.

Seattle Municipal Code 18.12.265

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Beach fire rules

Break out the s’mores and enjoy a Pacific Northwest sunset by beach fire at Alki Beach or Golden Gardens Park! Keep in mind, beach fires are only allowed at designated fire rings at these two sites. The fire rings are available first come, first served. Please only burn clean (natural, bare, dry cord-wood) wood and douse your fire completely before leaving.

Beach fire rules are outlined in detail in the Seattle Municipal Code section 18.12.270 and in our our Beach Fires Policy.

  • Light a fire ONLY in one of the installed fire containers
  • Use only clean, dry firewood
  • Please douse your fire with water, not sand
  • Fires are not allowed during air pollution alerts; we will post sign
  • Please don’t remove any materials from the park, beach or dunes
  • Please dispose of trash and ashes in the containers provided for each. (SMC 18.12.260)
  • Be considerate of others–please, no loud or amplified music! (SMC 18.12.170)
  • Remember, no alcohol or smoking are allowed, and parks are drug-free zones.

If you see an illegal fire, call 911. For current burn ban and air quality questions, contact Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Fire pits at Golden Gardens are unlocked at 4 p.m. daily.  Please begin to extinguish all beach fires (using water, not sand) around 10:30 p.m. in order to ensure that all fires are completely extinguished in ample time before the park’s closure.

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