Fight heats up between dog owners and Jefferson County over the closure of an Evergreen dog park

Posted at 4:49 PM, Apr 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-01 20:06:59-04

EVERGREEN, Colo. -- A large crowd marched in Evergreen with their dogs beside them Saturday in an effort to keep their favorite dog park from closing.

Jefferson County Open Space plans on closing the Elk Meadow dog park that sits off Highway 74 on April 4.

Officials cited overuse and massive amounts of dog waste as the reason why the park needs to close. The amount of waste stacked up to about 40 to 80 pounds per month, according to officials. The county even has concerns about E. coli contaminating the water.

"It's reasonable to say that yes, we believe that some of the contamination issues we're having is because of dog waste," said Matt Robbins with Jefferson County Open Space.

Demonstrators aren't buying it, saying contamination levels in the water are well below dangerous levels.

"I'm hesitant to trust them on all those findings," Maddison Ticshler Ward told Denver7.

Betsy Rich heads up a nonprofit called Friends of Evergreen Dog Park. She said they tried to work with the county to keep the park open even by volunteering to pick up dog waste.

"There are solutions to everything," said Rich. "For some reason [that] we don't understand Jeffco isn't interested in solutions."

Once the dog park closes, people could face a $100 fine for the first offense if caught inside the dog park after the April 4 closing date.

Robbins said the county plans to reopen the park eventually, but this time it will be required to leash your dog.


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