Why not two dog parks?

Here I go again with another one of my hare-brained, animal lover rants.

Here’s the deal – it could be a month or more before the river recedes to a near normal level. Even though river silt dries quickly, Dogland will be in recovery stage for many months to come. As the park recovers why not offer dog owners an alternative? At least temporarily.

I’m talking about the Silt Nature Preserve south of the river, one mile west of DCAH. Turn right at the “T” above DCAH, head straight west past the Dry Hollow curve on County Road 346. Just past the curve, on the right is the old Stillwater property, now known at the Silt Nature Preserve.

I’ve been out there a few times. There’s water flowing, more toilets than the city parks or Dogland, a parking lot, picnic tables, and land lotsa land. BUT NO PEOPLE!

Why not?

Here’s a hint:

The SiltBOTs were so eager to chase out the dog owners and their dogs, I’m not sure they thought things through. Who else is going to use the park? The only people I‘ve talked to who know about the park or have been out there are dog owners.

I believe Dogland needs to remain open and accessible so volunteers can get in to do the much-needed trails work when they have a spare hour or two. But dry open space would be a welcome respite from the standing water, mud, and mosquitos we’re currently battling at Dogland.

If the town were to allow dogs at the nature preserve on a temporary basis to begin with, and we responsible dog owners and our amazingly well-behaved dogs proved our worthiness, the board could consider taking down the signs and allowing dogs permanently.

Whew. I know. Right? That is so like, off-the-charts crazy talk.

Hear me out – or at least read what I have to say. The Silt Happenings newsletter came in the mail today. It’s all about economic development and bringing business to Silt in the form of new businesses and customers. But if I remember correctly, a couple months ago the economic advisor told the SiltBOTs that you have to work with what you’ve got.

What we’ve got is one jewel of a dog park that already brings business to Silt. Dog owners come from New Castle, Rifle, Glenwood, Carbondale, Aspen – you name it. Dogland is known far and wide. Responsible people walk their dogs. Dog owners buy gas, shop at Kum & Go, Go-fer, the liquor stores, and other businesses. They eat at the cafés. And oh btw, with the high water at Dogland people are staying away so business is being hurt right now. Allowing dogs at the nature preserve will bring business back to Silt.

Having two dog parks will make Silt the Doglovers Capitol of the World and will bring even more business to town.

We can’t make people come to Silt, we have to give them a reason to come here.

Consider these marketing catch phrases:

Find a niche and market to it.
Doglovers are definitely a niche market. There are more doglovers than kayakers in the world.

Work with what you’ve got.
One fantastic dog park that already attracts business to town. Doglovers already know about Silt.

Create an attraction.
A new and different dog park, giving doglovers a choice between open meadows and the opportunity for a quiet picnic with their dogs, or a serene river island and bird sanctuary where wildlife abounds.

Imagine that!

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