Amenities taking shape in Dog Park

       Three more key user amenities are in place now in the ongoing improvement project at the El Paso County Dog Park.

Dog owners and pets are co-existing these days with heavy equipment as the El Paso County Dog Park project continues. The photo also shows the new restroom (near background, with green roof) and some of the boulders that have been brought in for placement along the stream bank and around the restroom.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Recently completed are:
  • A restroom, with heat and electricity.
  • A small, fenced-in “kennel” next to the restroom.
  • A dog wash and drinking fountain (which are working, although they were non-operational this week - a temporary glitch, according to Park Planner Jason Meyer).
           The $280,000 project, funded by a grant and county developer fees, started last October. Free and open to the public and maintained to a large extent by volunteers, the 25-acre off-leash facility is just west of 21st and Rio Grande streets, bordering Bear Creek Regional Park.
           Also recently completed in the project was fencing around the formerly dirt parking lot, which had been paved in the initial phase last fall. The fence was necessary “to keep loose dogs off 21st street,” Meyer said.
           Heavy equipment is still at work on Bear Creek, which marks the southern perimeter of the Dog Park. Along the creek, two drop structures (needed for drainage control) have been set in the creek, and “will be grouted once we get a couple of warm days,” Meyer summarized in an e-mail. “We still have to place boulders along the creek bank, clean out and install culverts along the trail and place gravel and boulders around the restroom.”
           An original element of the project - light poles for the parking lot - has been dropped. “Currently, all county parks are open dawn to dusk, so parking lot lighting was not deemed a high priority and was cut to absorb the increase in utility costs,” Meyer said.
           A date for project completion has not been established, but mid-April is the tentative goal. “We will be planning a grand re-opening of sorts in May,” he said.

    While people play with their dogs just downstream this week, a trackhoe prepares Bear Creek for the placement of boulders along its banks at the west end of the Dog Park as part of the continuing project.
    Westside Pioneer photo

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