The woman who founded an off-leash dog park in Jefferson County that is being closed because people aren’t taking care of it went to take down something very important to her Thursday.

Judi Quackenboss founded the Elk Meadow dog park in 2001 in memory of her son John, who died in a plane crash. He would frequently take his dog off-leash in the area – something she thought Evergreen needed.

But, Jefferson County Open Space says people aren’t cleaning up after their dogs at Elk Meadow – and soil erosion and overcrowded parking lots are also causing a problem.

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Now, the park is set to close on April 4. Quackenboss went to Elk Meadow on Thursday to remove the plaque she placed to honor her son.

“It was so nice because I felt the community was not only with me, but they … they sort of embraced John also,” she said.

Jeffco Open Space says they plan to re-stabilize the areas around the dog park’s stream and let the vegetation grow back.

This could take up to three years and once the area opens again, dogs will have to stay on their leashes.