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By AJ Vicens

Lynda Fine’s black Labrador-rotweiler mix, Nala, has an abundance of energy, and a walk around their Westgold Meadows neighborhood usually isn't enough to wear Nala out.

Fine sees a lot of neighbors walking their dogs, and she's also noticed a chunk of land attached to the Sgt. Timothy M. Mossbrucker Memorial Park that doesn't appear to be used for anything.

Fine wants to turn it into an off-leash dog park.

"I think it can happen," Fine said. "I really do."

A dog park in the space is a possibility, but Fine has a long way to go. First she needs to gauge public support for the project, and so she wants to form a committee from her neighborhood that would come up with plans and fund-raising ideas. That committee would eventually develop a proposal that would be presented to the Foothills Park & Recreation District, which owns the land.

Fine thinks local dog owners would be willing to donate $10 or $20 each to help raise money for the project but emphasized that it would be a public space open to anyone who wanted to bring a dog.

She added that Foothills wouldn't have to put anything into the dog park — the users would handle maintenance and cleanup.

"They don't have to bring in water or electricity," Fine said. "That's the simplicity of dog parks."

Foothills' director of parks, Colin Insley, was cautious in his reaction to the proposal. The district currently does not offer any off-leash dog parks.

"While we could be interested in partnering on this, or receiving grants, we don't have any funds to do anything at this point," Insley said.

He said the master plan for the park doesn't include a dog park, but the land Fine is talking about doesn't have any other planned uses besides an area for native grasses.

Insley said that if the community took part in some meetings about changing the master plan to include the dog park, and Fine could get funding for fencing and maintenance, "that would certainly be something we could take a look at if there is enough interest in doing that."

Foothills' created the park in 1996 after working with homeowner associations, Insley said. The dog park would occupy about three-fourths of an acre near the park’s playground.

Fine said a dog park could serve as more than just a space for dogs to get together.

"With these economic times, this could be inexpensive entertainment for owners, the dogs and children," Fine said. "It's free, and you can't always take your dog places far away."

For now, Fine will continue to walk her dog around Westgold Meadows. But the dog park idea beckons.

"The land is just sitting there calling me," Fine said.

And it also may be calling to Nala.

"She's a high-energy dog,” Fine said. “She needs to run her wiggles off."

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.

Share your thoughts

Linda Fine is trying to establish a dog park at the Sgt. Timothy M. Mossbrucker Memorial Park in the Westgold Meadows neighborhood. Send her a note and share your thoughts at lynda.fine@comcast.net. If you don't have Internet access, call 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and leave a message.