Green Mountain-area homeowners attended open houses Wednesday to learn about the search for munitions in their yards.
"Several times over the years we've seen bits and pieces of stuff and always thought it was just rusted out pipe," said Cindy Matthews. "Now, we know maybe it wasn't. "
The Army National Guard, City of Lakewood and State Health officials were on-hand to explain that last year's search of William F. Hayden Park uncovered 14 live shells and countless pieces of munition debris left over from a pre-WWII artillery range.
"There are hits here in the park and here in this open space, and there are neighborhoods in between," said Warren Smith, a state health department spokesman. "We don't have any evidence of anyone that's ever been injured by one of these shells, but the older they get the more unstable they become, so it's just better to remove them once and for all."
Before military specialists can search yards with metal detectors this spring, they must get permission from homeowners.
Homeowners and neighbors will be required to leave the area during the searches as a precaution.
CDPHE said it has sent letters to 126 homeowners in the Mesa View Estates and Green Mountain Estates neighborhood.