Going to the dogs? Local group says dog waste is destroying Denver's green spaces

Posted at 5:01 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 19:48:23-04

DENVER, Colo. — It’s not just Colorado’s human population that’s growing. The pet population is skyrocketing too.

More pets means more of everything that goes with pets — including waste — which some say is making a mess of Denver's green spaces.

The Riverfront Park Association reported to Denver7’s media partners at the Denver Post that it spends about $30,000 a year to replace grass damaged by dog urine with fresh sod.

According to research done by Amy Cara, a local developer, there’s an estimated 1,200 dogs coming to the 3,000 apartments currently under construction in the Union Station area. In the riverfront area, the dog-census estimate is greater than 2,000.

The Riverfront Park Association is looking for solutions to this problem before it gets worse.

One proposed fix — already used in areas like New York City — involves using fences and shrubs or even gravel to protect trees in the area.

Livable Cities Studio told the Denver Post that, in the blocks near Union Station, the pilot project probably will include modifying up to a dozen landscaped sidewalk areas near apartment buildings by taking the shrub and gate hybrid approach.

Some residents are taking it all in stride.

“I think people understand that they have dogs and yellow grass is going to be a result of it,” said Becca Hoesoi, who lives in the Riverfront area. “I think you just kind of have to deal with the grass. I mean they’ve put rocks on some sides which is fine, but I just think it’s something that’s going to be inevitable. Dogs need to use the bathroom.”