In response to a push to establish dog parks in the community, county officials moved to formalize a Tubac area that was already being used by local residents to let their pets run leash-free.

“We understand that the Tubac residents are interested in dog parks… So this is potentially the first of other dog parks that we will establish throughout our community,” County Manager Jennifer St. John said at the board of supervisors meeting last week.

The crescent-shaped section of the Ron Morriss County Park, located on Calle Iglesia, is now the official dog park in Tubac. But a few residents are still not entirely happy with the new county designation.

Suzanne Keller, a member of the newly formed Tubac Canine Club – which was founded about two weeks ago in an effort to prevent misinformation about dog parks and now counts more than 50 members – said the designated area is still not big enough to suit the needs of local dog owners, and even poses a few safety threats.

“The area is just too small. Sometimes, for play time, there are 15 to 20 dogs,” Keller said during the call to the public. “I personally have been knocked down to the ground twice. We have people in their 70s and 80s… It’s not safe.”

In addition, Keller said, the area does not count on double-gated security, which would make it safer for people entering the park and would help prevent dogs from running out of the park when one gate opens.

Another member from the Tubac Canine Club, Lynn Carey, suggested that the board of supervisors convert the entire Ron Morriss Park into a designated dog area.

“It just seems to us, as the Tubac Canine Club, that that ball field is sitting there unused and it is much larger. It would meet our needs, it has a double fence,” Carey told the NI.

But St. John countered that another group of Tubac residents wants to keep the ball field as is so they can start an adult softball program in the community.

County Supervisor Bruce Bracker, whose district includes the Tubac area, said: “This is just the beginning of the conversation. This is a starting point for all of us.”

Bracker and Supervisor Manuel Ruiz voted in favor of establishing the dog park. Supervisor Rudy Molera was not present at the May 22 meeting.

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