Dog lovers rally against Elk Meadows Dog Park’s imminent closure

EVERGREEN, Colo. -- About 100 people gathered Saturday to rally against Jefferson County Open Space’s decision to close one of the most prominent dog parks in the state.

“We’re devastated by this whole thing because the dog park is the heart of the community,” president of Friends of Evergreen Dog Park, Betsy Rich said.

“We’re out here today to stop the rash decision by Jefferson County,” dog owner Maddison Tischler Ward said. “My dog needs open space to be happy. He feels trapped when he’s on a leash.”

Signs are posted at Elk Meadows Dog Park in Evergreen saying it will officially close on Tuesday.

The 107-acre off-leash park brings in 4,000 visitors per weekend. Jefferson County officials say the land needs a rest because of too much erosion and dog waste.

The county had planned to keep an eight-acre portion of the park open, but changed its mind late last week. Officials believe that plan would do more damage, make restoration more expensive and doesn’t solve the dog waste problem.

Park lovers are not giving up.

“The issues at this dog park have been faced by dog parks all over the country,” Rich said. “And what they do is close small parts of the park and rotate instead of closing all 107 acres. Keep parts of it open.”