Celebration of recent Dog Park upgrades April 28

       An event to celebrate the upgrades over the past several months at the El Paso County Bear Creek Dog Park will be Saturday, April 28.
       Fesitivities will be preceded, from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m., by a clean-up of the 20-acre facility off 21st Street at Rio Grande.
       At 10:30 will be the unveiling of an art sculpture that was given as a gift to the park. At 11 a.m. will be a ribbon cutting and celebration, according to Ron Buchanan, president of the volunteer Friends of Bear Creek Dog Park.
       Also available, from 10 a.m. until early afternoon, will be a licensed veterinarian, answering questions at no charge. People can also sign up to become Friends members and/or make donations that can be “exchanged” for such items as Tshirts, hats and doggie bandanas, Buchanan said.
       Members of the public (dogs too) are invited. Overflow parking will be available at the County Parks lot across 21st Street.
       The free facility allows dog owners to let their animals run around without leashes.
       The major improvements at the park have been a paved parking lot, added boundary fencing, permanent toilets (with newly added running water and electricity), a drinking fountain and dog wash, drainage control, and creek stabilization with wading pools.
       Funded through a grant and county developers' fees, the project was planned by County Parks with help from the Friends group.
       The group had been started by Buchanan about eight years ago as Lovers of Off-Leash Parks (LOOP), but recently changed its name.

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