PARKER, Colo. (KDVR) — Community members and city officials are taking action to stop construction work at a Walgreens in Parker after contractors graded over prairie dog burrows.
At the Walgreens where Lincoln Avenue meets Parker Road, prescriptions aren’t the only thing people are picking up.
“We’ve been here monitoring the site, making phone calls, bringing awareness,” Prairie Protection Colorado volunteer Michaela Hinerman said.
Hinerman and Prairie Protection Colorado have been pushing to protect prairie dogs after a community member called them about injured prairie dogs at a construction site at Walgreens.
“This one has an injury to his shoulder blade, we have one that’s injured in his eye,” Hinerman said, referring to pictures of the injured prairie dogs. “They are looking for their family members. Some made it, some have not.”
Parker has an ordinance to protect prairie dogs.
FOX31 received the following statement from the town when asked about the location:
“The Town of Parker was informed of a landscaping contractor grading over prairie dog burrows along Lincoln Avenue. Upon review from the Town Community Development Department and a site visit from Parker Police Department Community Services staff, work at the location was stopped. The town issued a notice of violation of Parker Municipal Code to the property owner on Aug. 25, 2022. As cited in the notice, work violated both the Town’s Land Development Ordinance and prairie dog management ordinances. To avoid penalties and resume work, the property owner must apply for a site-plan amendment by Sept. 1, 2022. Additionally, the property owner must obtain required permits for construction within town right-of-way and comply with town prairie dog management ordinances.”
Hinerman told FOX31, as of Monday, the hired contractors for the project are pledging to work to help humanely remove the prairie dogs.
“They have agreed to hire an ethical, non-lethal, professional prairie dog relocation specialist. We’re super excited about that,” she said.
Additionally, Hinerman said on Tuesday workers should start to remove rocks off of the burrows.
FOX31 reached out to Walgreens and received the following statement:
“As part of a landscape improvement project at our 19028 Lincoln Ave. location on Walgreens property, prairie dog access points were inadvertently covered. When we became aware of what had taken place, work on the project stopped. We appreciate the importance of this issue to the community and are working on a resolution to protect the prairie dogs.”