Dog play area proposed at town park

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Hayden Trustee Ken Gibbon loves to run with his dog, but like many people in Hayden and Steamboat Springs, he doesn't have a place in town where he can let his pooch off the leash.

He and town Recreation Coordinator Lindsay Heer recently teamed up to find an appropriate location for a dog park. On Thursday, Gibbon proposed the park at a place he called the perfect location.

The Hayden Town Park on Third Street includes a section that Gibbon said people rarely use. To get there, people must cross a bridge over Dry Creek to an area with grills and shade from trees along the creek.

Gibbon says it is a perfect location because it has the natural boundary of the creek and a fence along one side of it. This would mean construction costs would be minimal and probably would require simply putting up a fence around the remaining area, Gibbon said.

"It's good for dogs to develop social skills with other dogs," Gibbon said. "And it's good for dog owners to socialize, too. Instead of some dogs and their owners playing at the field at the high school and all over town, this would consolidate them all in one area."

Town Board members supported the idea in Hayden, but requested more information about costs and asked Public Works Director Frank Fox and Police Chief Jody Lenahan to research how the park would be maintained and policed.

If the dog park was deemed economically feasible and was publicly supported, it would not be implemented until 2005 at the earliest, because money was not budgeted for such a park this year.

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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