Poop Problem: City of Denver threatens to close popular dog park

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DENVER (KDVR) -- Denver Parks and Recreation is threatening to close the Berkeley Dog Park, citing concerns with accumulating feces. A sign posted to the front gate now reads: "Conditions are currently in the YELLOW status, but are starting to cross into RED. We are contemplating closing it if conditions do not improve by March 16th, 2020." 

"We're at a yellow, which means conditions are deteriorating," spokesperson Holly Batchelder said. "If people don't start cleaning up, we'll have to close it soon." She also said if the park closes, it would be up to community volunteers to return it to an acceptable state. City rangers will not do so.

 "That could be indefinite," Batchelder said. "It would be until a volunteer group is able to organize something to come out and clean up the park." Tuesday afternoon, only a limited amount of poop was visible across the park.

Stacey Potts said she's been grabbing an extra bag after seeing the warning signs. 

"I don't want this park to close," she said. "I'll do anything to keep this park from closing. If it means I have to pick up a couple extra prizes, I will."

Potts visits the park with her dog, Juneau, practically every day, and says negligent owners have become an issue in recent months. 

"A lot of people just aren't watching," she said. "They're on their phones, they're not paying attention, and they have to, or we're going to lose our park."

Michael Morales said the park is the only one within miles, and a popular one in the north Denver community.

"When the signs go up and we're threatened by the dog park closing, it makes me nervous," he said. "It's kind of a losing battle sometime, so that makes me nervous, and I hope people step up."

Denver Parks and Recreation will follow up at the park on March 16. If conditions have improved, the park will remain open, according to Batchelder. 

"Usually when we put up the yellow warning sign, people get the hint and start cleaning up," she said.

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