JEFFERSON COUNTY - E. coli, illegal parking and dying plants are a few of the reasons Jefferson County decided to close the Elk Meadow off leash dog park indefinitely.
They say they need to give the space time to heal.
Volunteers at the park say they want the chance to clean it up and keep it open.
“I've been to that park at least 2,000 times, sometimes seven days a week,” said protester Doug Stoltz.
Just like any other trip to the park, Stoltz brought his companion with him -- and he says they both benefit from the open space.
“It’s just a much better experience for her and for me to be her natural self,” Stoltz said.
“We came here to make a statement,” protester Maddison Tischler-Ward said.
She makes the drive from Denver just so her dog can experience an off-leash dog park.
“He has pretty severe leash anxiety and gets pretty freaked out around other dogs on a leash, however off leash, he has the time of his life,” Tischler-Ward said.
That time will be cut short.
On April 4, the county will close the park.
“We feel like there was a lot of issues that should have been addressed earlier,” Stoltz said.
“We have many active volunteers who want to keep this park open,” Tischler-Ward said.
A group called Friends of Evergreen Dog Park have drafted a plan to keep the park open which would require pet owners to register their dog and provide a DNA sample to track those not cleaning up after their pets.
“It's not a done deal and doesn't need to be closed on April 4 whatsoever,” Tischler-Ward said.
“We'll look at all the other alternatives and pressure the county to open more dog parks or keep this open,” Stoltz said.
There are already areas of the park that have been closed off.
Many are hoping the county will have a last-minute change of mind, but right now, the park is scheduled to close Tuesday.
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