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The original item was published from 10/10/2017 3:14:51 PM to 1/6/2018 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: January 5, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Public Input Sought to Address Challenges at Elk Meadow Park Dog Off-leash Area in Evergreen

Jeffco Open Space is asking for public input at an upcoming three-part community meeting series regarding the popular Elk Meadow Park Dog Off-leash Area (DOLA) located in Evergreen, Colorado. The DOLA is experiencing many challenges that affect public health and the environment.

Join the conversation at the first community meeting on Thursday, January 19, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Buchanan Recreation Center, 32003 Ellingwood Trail, Evergreen, Colorado, 80439. Attendees will receive a briefing on the challenges facing the DOLA, and then will have the opportunity to brainstorm solutions with other residents and Jeffco Open Space staff.

The challenges the DOLA is facing include:

1. Harmful Stream Water Quality – In 2016, testing revealed that the stream water at the DOLA has extremely high levels of bacterial contamination - exceeding state limits by as much as 20x. This contamination is unsafe for humans and their pets.

2. Excessive Dog Waste – Since September 2016, more than 500 pounds of dog waste has been removed at the DOLA during three volunteer cleanup events. Due to their diets, dog waste does not biodegrade like wildlife waste. Left alone, dog waste pollutes groundwater and often contains harmful bacteria and organisms like E. coli, Giardia, Salmonella, roundworms, hookworms and Cryptosporidium. These can be passed on to people and pets through ingestion, or on the bottoms of shoes and paws.

3. Vegetation Loss and Stream Embankment Damage – The high impact of trampling by approximately 4,000 visitors per week has led to the loss of vegetation, severe soil erosion and stream bank degradation.

4. Pedestrian and Dog Safety – In spite of numerous management actions taken, illegal parking and dogs and pedestrians in the roadway create unsafe conditions for motorists, visitors and pets.

The three-part community meeting series will continue into February with meetings on Thursday, February 9 and Thursday, February 23. Interested citizens are encouraged to attend all three meetings. Updates and information from each meeting will be available on the Jeffco Open Space website.

Jeffco Open Space was founded as a land conservation organization in 1972. Our mission is to preserve open space and parkland, protect park and natural resources, and provide healthy, nature-based experiences. Funded with a one-half of one percent sales tax, our organization contributes to city and park district projects, has preserved more than 54,000 acres, and manages 28 open space parks and more than 230 miles of trails in Jefferson County, Colorado.

Matt Robbins
Community Connections Manager
[email protected]

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