DENVER - Letting your dog run around off leash in an area that's not labeled for it is illegal. But that has never stopped a lot of people at the park off Speer Boulevard.
So, the city decided to see what would happen if they made it a space for dogs to run free, legally.
Alice Gilbertson, was the first person at the grand opening of the new off leash dog park.
“We are so delighted to have this space for our dogs,” she said.
She has been waiting for something like this.
“I have walked Aubrey around here but we had never left her off leash,” said Gilbertson.
The city says other people were letting their dogs off leash even before the change, so they saw it as an opportunity for a pop up park.
“Let's face it dogs can trash out grass and then to be moving the parks around so the areas can restore themselves is just really smart,” Gilbertson said.
The city hopes people will be responsive to the idea and that it will ultimately attract more people to the area.
“Recognizing all the people that are moving here all the dogs that are moving here that there was really a need,” said Mark Bernstein, the Downtown Area Planner for Denver’s Parks and Recreation department.
“The more people you have using these places the safer they become and the more attractive these places become for these families to move to,” said Gilbertson.
For now, the park is only temporary, but the city will look to see how people respond to the area before making any permanent decisions.
If people keep it clean we could see similar ideas in other areas.
“We will be down here every day using it. I know Aubrey is so happy to be off leash and running around on grass so we'll keep our fingers crossed that this is a success and we'll continue to come here,” said Gilbertson
The city says this all part of the Outdoor Downtown Plan, a 20-year strategic plan that will look at all downtown’s parks and public spaces.
Right now, the dog park is scheduled to be open through December.
The city says the pop up didn't cost much since they already own the land and they used fencing that twas repurposed.
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