Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Santa Ana Dog Park

Wouldn’t the Santa Ana Lawn Bowling Center make a nice Dog Park?

Did you know that the City of Santa Ana has no dog parks?  I called today and spoke with a lady at the City of Santa Ana’s dog license department.  She was very helpful! 

She said that we have 11,835 dogs currently licensed in our city.  And she figures there might be even more dogs that are currently unlicensed.  While I have questioned the cost of our licenses in the past, they do accomplish a couple of positive goals, in that they help to assure that dogs are properly vaccinated – and that they are fixed.

The lady at the dog license department also told me that the only dog park in the area is in Costa Mesa – and they don’t like it when out of town residents bring their dogs to their park, as it is hard to corroborate that the dogs are fixed and vaccinated.

I have an idea for a dog park, in Santa Ana, at NO COST to our city!  The Lawn Bowling center, at Santiago Park, is only used four times a week.  Gerardo Mouet, the Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Director, verified this today in an email I received.  “The Lawn Bowlers practice on the bowling area on Tuesdays and Thursdays and play on the weekends.”

Santiago Park Lawn Bowling Center Schedule

My proposal would be to get rid of the lawn bowling altogether as it is an anachronistic sport that very few people in Santa Ana are involved in.  The people who come here to do lawn bowling are, for the most part, from out of town!

This area, as you can see in the pictures embedded in this post, is fenced in and it has benches to relax on.  The lawn is also well maintained.  It would be a perfect dog park!  And the City would hardly have to spend any additional money to do this.

As an alternative, if our City Council for some reason wants to keep the lawn bowling activities, we can use the area as a dog park when the lawn bowling is not going on.

Santiago Park Lawn Bowling Center

If we had a dog park in our city, we could advertise the services our city provides with regard to dog licenses, vaccinations, etc., right there at the dog park!

What do you think? 

Click here to contact Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Director Gerardo Mouet.  Click here to contact the Santa Ana City Council.  Click here to contact Councilman Carlos Bustamante, who represents the Santiago Park area.  You can contact City Manager Dave Ream’s assistant, Mark Lawrence, at 

Click here for a list of dog parks in Orange County.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

40 thoughts on “Is it time for a dog park in the City of Santa Ana?”
  1. Gustavo,

    No doubt! It is odd seeing it closed off to the public and essentially unused.

    But why not open a second dog park at French Park? We are a big city! We deserve more than one dog park!

  2. Leave the Lawn Bowling Center alone. Try it, you may like it and earn respect for an ancient sport beloved by others. FYI bowling greens, like golf courses, have carefully managed surfaces that need to be protected from damage, thus the fences. Everyone is encouraged to try lawn bowling!

  3. M Chan,

    Again, does anyone in Santa Ana play this sport? If not, shouldn’t we use the space in a way that will benefit more of our residents and taxpayers?

    There are a lot of ancient sports that we have dumped over the years. In fact some of them, such as dog fighting, are illegal now.

    Time to say adios to lawn bowling in Santa Ana!

  4. Admin,
    I hope you are not implying that lawn bowling will be made illegal, comparing it to brutal “sport” of dog fighting?!! In the United States, lawn bowling is a sport mainly enjoyed by senior citizens. You can’t take away their recreation areas just because there are more dogs than lawn bowling seniors in the city! And a lawn bowling green is a well-manicured surface, and would be ruined by sharing time with dogs and their owners. If Santa Ana needs a dog park, please look elsewhere.
    (And as M Chan mentioned, everyone is invited to come out and try lawn bowling!)

  5. I love the idea of a dog park. People in Santa Ana have to go all the way to Orange Or Costa Mesa. Leave the bowling center alone. . . Too much history. The perfect place is above the public works building, deeper intothe park, between the archery area and the two big slides. It is already gated off and nobody uses it. It used to be used as a police dog training center years ago. Maybe this will make me feel good about paying my dog license – feeling like I get something in return instead of having it go into a deep dark whole of a budget in the city.

  6. The most stupid idea I have ever heard of. When out of town people visit your city to lawn bowl, we bring MONEY. Do you want us to visit your city to look at dog poop?

  7. Roland,

    Why should the people of Santa Ana pay to entertain folks who don’t live in town?

    We don’t have a dog park in town, but you lawn bowlers have other options:

    Lawn Bowling – Corona Del Mar

    Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club
    1550 Crown Dr N, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625 Map
    949 644-6138

    Top of Page

    Lawn Bowling – Irvine

    The Groves Lawn Bowling Club
    5200 Irvine Blvd, Irvine, CA 92620 Map
    714 832-8067

    Top of Page

    Lawn Bowling – Laguna Beach

    Laguna Beach Lawn Bowling Club
    455 Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 Map
    949 448-3879

    Top of Page

    Lawn Bowling – Mission Viejo

    Casta Del Sol Lawn Bowling Club
    24351 Via Albeniz, Mission Viejo, CA 92692 Map
    949 380-0264

  8. Admin;

    For you who are ill informed, the lawn bowling club members pay for the city to maintain the greens. How many crap leaving dog owners would pay for the use? That jewel of the City of Santa Ana would be a reeking eysore in three months or less of dog use.

  9. Admin,
    I lawn bowl and believe it or not I am not a senior. I have young teen-age kids who like to bowl. They invite friends to bowl with them and their friends enjoy the sport too. I encourage you to go out one day and roll some bowls. Use the space for what it is intended for and meet some of the amazing people on the greens. At this point your lack of respect for the ‘unknown’ really makes you sound ignorant. I do not believe that was your intention when you started the project of looking for space for a dog park, but it seems you are a little too close to the project now and are taking things personally. I admire what you are trying to achieve for our little (and big) four-legged friends just take it somewhere else. When you visit the club ask about the lawn, how it is maintained, how old it is, what is the grass that is used for bowling, etc. You will have a whole new light on the sport and realize it is a great asset in Santa Ana.

  10. M Yahn,

    Do you live in Santa Ana? Do any of you lawn bowlers live in town?

    The answer? Most likely NO.

    This proposal has already reached our City Manager. I have two Council Members looking at it. I will be presenting this to the Parks and Rec Commission soon.

    The train has left the station…

  11. Budding uninformed so-called community organizer’s, such as your self, really should do a better job of researching the Santa Ana Lawn Bowling Greens and Club. Obviously your knowledge of Greens usage comes only from the sign which only indicates regular organized bowling times. Not shown are the individual pick-up games, sub group games, the widely usesd open individual practice time, and the many League and tournament dates scheduled through out the year. The Greens and Club are way more active than what you and other cited City employees have indicated. I doubt that the general appeal to dog owners will be very significant,given the out of the way location. Further, would the dog owners be will to pay for the maintenance upkeep as the Lawn Bowlers currently do. Slow down Ace.

  12. JMac,

    I walk by there all the time. I never see your lawn bowlers there except on the dates listed on the sign on the fence.

    Next time I’m there I will bring my camera so my readers can see that you folks are NOT from Santa Ana.

    You doubt the appeal of dog parks? Then you have no clue. Tomorrow I am visiting a few dog parks and I will be posting the pictures here and submitting them to the City Council.

    As I noted in a previous comment, you folks have plenty of lawn bowling centers to go to. You don’t need to be taking up space in my town.

    Slow down? I don’t think so. If anything this is going to move very quickly. Enjoy the greens while you can. Soon they will be going to the dogs – literally!

  13. This is ridiculous. Obviously, you are suggesting that lawn bowling disappear because there is no way these people could maintain the lawn if dogs were playing on it when they weren’t there. The lawn bowlers are a great group of people and they really enjoy their sport. My home backs to the lawn bowling center and I have enjoyed watching them from time to time. My husband and I wouldn’t mind giving it a try when our kids get a little bigger. In other countries lawn bowling is a young person’s sport and it is very popular. My biggest problem with this whole proposal is that Santiago Park is huge and it wouldn’t be difficult to carve out a location for a dog park somewhere else in the park as another suggested. Remember, dogs also like trees, a open green is not exactly prime for a dog park. It would be nice to have a dog park and Santiago Park would be a great location but not the lawn bowling center. BTW, the French Park idea is terrible, that “park” is postage stamp size and surrounded by busy streets with lots of apartments, the first dog killed in the street would lead to a lawsuit if the city designated it a “dog park”.

  14. Tmare,

    I am not amused that our civic dollars are paying to entertain folks who don’t live in Santa Ana.

    I will be submitting my full report to our City Manager and City Council on Monday.

    It is time for the British to finally leave India.

  15. The lawn bowling greens have been there since 1938. Up to this year they have been fully maintained by the members of the club. The club is currently paying the city each month for partial maintenance of the greens using equipment owned by the club. In addition to the published times the greens are used numerous times throughout the year for tournaments with other clubs. This September the U.S. Lawn Bowling Nationals will be held at several Orange county bowling clubs including Santa Ana. International lawn bowlers will be participating. The club provides free bowling lessons to anyone interested. Why can’t the large K9 training area which is already fenced be shared with the police department?

  16. Turning this worthless, albeit very lovely, piece of ground into a dog park sounds like a capital idea. Except in today’s world I think a “dog only” park would be somewhat discriminatory. All pets, as well as their owners should be permitted to use the facility. If other pets are allowed I will give this proposition my heartfelt support. I have a very nice pet alligator who needs a nice green lawn on which to relax. And, he is very fond of dogs and other small mammals. Let’s do it. Get your petition in and/or call the city manager. What do you say Art…are you with us?

  17. Why would you consider turning a beautiful, historic, bowling green in Santa Ana into a dog park? I understand the need for facilities for dogs to run and play but there is quite an extensive list of dog parks in Orange County as compared to only five lawn bowling clubs. If bowlers have to come from other towns in order to be able to enjoy their sport why can’t dog owners take their dogs to dog parks in other towns? The dog parks in Costa Mesa, Irvine and Orange are only a few minutes away from Santa Ana, but surely there must be a suitable location in Santa Ana to turn into a dog park without destroying the greens of Santa Ana Lawn Bowling Club.

  18. G. Rogers,

    You folks don’t live in Santa Ana, but you want actual residents of my city to inconvenience ourselves, by driving to dog parks in other cities, so you can entertain yourselves in our park, at our expense?

    I don’t think so!

    For over 70 years you have failed to market your sport to Latinos. Now you are going to pay the price.

    I visited dog parks in Costa Mesa and Irvine this weekend. They were packed! Clearly there is a far greater need for a dog park in my town, as compared to a dying sport that no one in Santa Ana has a remote interest in.

  19. Admin,

    I can understand you feel there is a need for a dog park in Santa Ana. However, it seems that a couple of good suggestions have been made for a suitable location so why don’t you look into these instead of being consumed with destroying the lawn bowling greens.

    For your information, I believe there are several of the lawn bowlers who reside in Santa Ana.

  20. G. Rogers,

    Two problems. For one thing, our city is broke. We can turn the lawn bowling center greens into a dog park with almost no budget. The other ideas involve spending money we don’t have.

    Secondly, locating the dog park atop the water reservoir, in the area used by the police department, is ridiculous on many counts. It is too far. There is the obvious conflict with the police department. And it is not convenient.

    Even if one or two of your bowlers live in our city, the fact is very few people in our city use the lawn bowling center greens. Dog parks are used by thousands of people. We have over eleven thousand licensed dogs in town!

    BTW, the racist sentiments expressed here by your lawn bowlers aren’t going to help. We have an all Latino City Council and half the Council members are immigrants.

    Better start getting used to driving somewhere else to do your lawn bowling.

  21. There are more & more newcomers to the sport. It is a fun, social & active sport internationally. Let’s not try to take away from what is a lovely for seniors & active adults to get out and not sit at home on the computer. Try it before you make your decision. Join in.

  22. joan,

    I am sure it is quite lovely. But people in my town don’t partake of this, for the most part. And there has been zero effort to reach out to locals.

    Dog parks are a huge trend right now. From what I saw in Costa Mesa and Irvine this weekend, our residents will get major use of this area if we switch to a dog park.

    You folks have plenty of other greens you can go to. Santa Ana has zero dog parks.

    Time to move on.

  23. Admin,

    I think you should get your facts straight before you accuse the bowlers of not reaching out to locals. Every effort is made to explain the game to interested onlookers at the park and encourage them to participate. Also, there has been an Open House for the past years with newspaper ads and flyers distributed to residents’ homes in Santa Ana. This has been successful in recruiting new people to the game.

  24. What a churlish and facile note from the instigator of this topic to remove lawn bowling. It is almost as bad as the “kill the aged” in the unread, heavily earmarked dictatorial health care (or don’t care) bill. Get a life and enjoy the fresh air and exercise yourself instead of someone else !

    Lawn bowls is a game filled with nuances and comaraderie enjoyed by sports people of ALL ages and champions range from under 30 to over 65. What a selfish and arrogant antagonist with nothing better to do in life.

  25. P Collins,

    May I remind you that Santiago Park is NOT a county park. It is a Santa Ana City Park. There are perhaps less than five Santa Ana residents who partake of lawn bowling. The rest of you don’t live here. Why should we allow you to use our park?

    I am meeting with the Santa Ana Parks and Rec director next week. Then I will be submitting a formal proposal to the Santa Ana Parks and Rec Commission. Thereafter I will be addressing our City Council.

    This is going to happen, whether you like it or not. Consider yourself lucky that you were able to get away with using OUR resources for over seventy years. That piracy is now at an end.

  26. Admin

    You hide behind anonymity. You live in a dream World on your own mental island. Check the number of people who find you offensive and who disgaree with your stupid attitude and behaviour. You appear not to know of visitors to a town or country who make use of ALL our facilities and who bring vibrancy to our land. There is so much land here yet you create a war about a postage stamp. Geography is not your strong point. Have you actually strayed from your yard ?

  27. P Collins,

    I repeat, this is not a county park. This park belongs to the people of Santa Ana.

    After 72 years, we are taking back what is ours. We ought to bill you for past use of our land.

  28. Admin; You throw the racist word out there fairly freely. Of all the posts, yours is the only racist one out there. What did you do with the initial “Mi familia” and my “hermanos” posts? I would guess they were not suitable for the eyes of your beloved council members or whoever you are trying to impress. You are barking up the wrong tree.

  29. Gregory,

    Your anger isn’t going to help you one bit.

    You need to contact OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen and ask her to build you a lawn bowling center on county propery.

    Your days of ripping off Santa Ana residents by using our resources for your entertainment are at an end.

  30. 60% Of the bowling clubs are from Santa Ana, others are fro nearby city, and new members signed ups in the last few months
    There are alot of members that play in Tornaments in Western State and Nationally, and represent Santa ana, and we will also hots some of this tournaments>
    There is park right next to the lawn bowling, and it is big enough and a good are for the dog park, they could try that and see how many people go.
    Totally cool to share something
    God Bless you

  31. John,

    That is very hard to believe. I visited the lawn bowling center last Saturday and took pictures. The players were 100% white. How odd this is in a city that is over 80% Latino…

    Let’s put this another way. At most the lawn bowling center serves less than 60 lawn bowlers. The dog park will serve THOUSANDS of Santa Ana residents. We have over 11,000 dogs in the city that are licensed and over 20K that are not licensed.

    We will go with the use that serves MORE of our residents.

  32. Admin,

    Once again you right codswallop. I would like to see you get 11000 dogs in on the bowling greens. Also if you adopt the myopic attitude that you are taking back what belongs to you then how about handing back all of Santa Ana to Mexicoa who have a greater and longer claim than you. If you want a dog park how about a golfe course moist of which seldom have a capacity utilisation during the week let alone at weekends. Your dog will have many acres to roam and deface without having to have a poop sccvop. That instrument is foreign to you probably and you Chihuahua can depoist his excrement without fear. Now that is a thought. Amazing how Nations or Towns can quicklyh go to the dogs !

  33. Admin,

    Here is a thought. Why don’t you visit the lawn bowling club and try playing bowls for a while. (No matter whether you have played any sport or not). Bowlers are very nice people and welcome all newcomers. After a few sessions being taught the basics and how to deliver the bowl you will be allowed to join in the friendly and social games. Now the fun starts! You do not even need to buy your own equipment yet as the club will lend you some bowls. You only need a flat pair of shoes (preferably smooth sole) or bare feet. Lawn bowls is open to ALL including those with handicaps or partially or completely blind. Few sports cater for that seqment of the population.

    There is an unwritten sports code that determines that sports people never criticise other sports unless you have played it. In bowls it is expected that no player how good or bad criticises another player. (That is written in their rules of etiquette). Even the best players make mistakes. The whole idea is to enjoy the sport and have fun and friendship. You never know you may so enjoy the sport and become so passionate about it that you become Santa Ana’s and beyond champion promoter of the sport so much that Santa Ana may require more bowling greens. Now don’t you think that is quite something? GOOD BOWLING!


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