April Stools Day event aims to clean Steamboat parks, trails | SteamboatToday.com

April Stools Day event aims to clean Steamboat parks, trails

Kyle Love

Kyle Love, right, and Maria Palmer walk Brewster along the Spring Creek Trail. Love and Palmer say they always pick up after Brewster, but that can't be said of all dog owners. That's why organizers of April Stools Day are hoping that a large number of volunteers will come out in force to help clean up local parks and trails across Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell

— Steamboat Springs veterinarian Paige Lorimer cannot guarantee that Saturday's April Stools Day event will be fun.

"It's hard to sell dog poop," she said. "I think everyone knows what their yards look like after the winter. It's just disgusting even if you just have one dog. It's really not that fun to pick up."

Still, she's hoping a crew of volunteers will show up at Pet Kare Clinic on Anglers Drive at noon Saturday ready to comb over Steamboat's parks with pooper scoopers, root out all the excrement, and give dog owners some good karma.

Lorimer said although picking up dog excrement is guaranteed to be a smelly affair, it also can be a bonding experience.

"I got to know three of my clients a lot better by walking around with them and picking up poo at the base of Emerald" Mountain last year, Lorimer said. "I just think April Stools Day is a chance to be a part of the community and making it a nice place to live."

Volunteers and staff members at the Pet Kare Clinic, which is sponsoring the event with the help of the city of Steamboat Springs, will split up Saturday afternoon to pick up dog feces, cigarette butts and trash on the Spring Creek Trail, Rita Valentine Park, Blackmer Drive, Whistler Park, Stehly Park and the Butcherknife Trail.

"If we get a lot of volunteers, we can get a lot more poop out of these parks," Lorimer said.

She said last year's April Stools Day netted enough waste to completely fill a flatbed trailer.

City codes mandate that pet owners clean up after their animals. Those who don't can be fined $10 for a first offense, $25 for a second offense and $50 for a third and all subsequent offenses.

This year will be the sixth annual April Stools Day. Lorimer said it started as an event sponsored by the city and has evolved into a community service day for her veterinary clinic. The clinic will have some free gifts and goodies on hand Saturday to give to volunteers for their service.

April Stools Day attendees are advised to wear street shoes and bring a pooper scooper if they have one.

"When you go to a park and it's full of poo, and then you clean it and you come away with five bags of it, you look back at it and think, 'This is cool,'" Pet Kare Clinic administrator Lorna Hamilton said. "We feel like because we are the caregivers of the dogs, we want to keep the parks clean. If the poo isn't picked up, it's going to be a negative reflection on the dog community."

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com