Safety concerns arise after park in Lyons was over-capacity during Fourth of July holiday

Our Colorado: How towns are solving overcrowding
Posted at 3:30 PM, Jul 07, 2018

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LYONS, Colo. -- More and more people are moving to Colorado. They're getting out and enjoying what the state has to offer. But with that comes new challenges.

In Lyons, the Lavern M. Johnson Park is becoming so popular that there are new concerns about the safety of visitors. 

"It was the busiest we had ever seen," said Lyons Mayor Connie Sullivan, talking about how crowded the park was on Independence Day.

She said when authorities were called for a minor altercation at the park, emergency personnel had a hard time getting by all the people and cars. That's when Sullivan knew something had to change. She posted a notice on her Facebook page.

Before July 4, the only protocol in place was to set up a sign that read "park is full". All that meant was people had to find another place to park and walk in from there. Now, those visitors will be asked to go to another park that also sits along the river to prevent Lavern M. Johnson Park from becoming overcrowded.

The simple but new regulations are pleasing locals.

"Mayor Sullivan sent out the notice before we could even talk to the city about it," said March Chapman. "A lot of us really appreciated that."

Mayor Sullivan wanted to emphasize she still encourages visitors.

"We just want to make sure it's a safe and great experience for everyone," she said.

There's also an issue of trash at the park. Visitors with cars are now given trash bags at entry and asked to bring their trash with them when they leave the park for the day.