Denver Direct: INC: Put Parks Poo Plan on Pause

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

INC: Put Parks Poo Plan on Pause

(received by email – not an April Fool’s joke)

“On March 24, 2009, the INC (Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation) Parks and Recreation Committee passed a motion to send the following letter to officials of the City and County of Denver after consideration by the INC delegation on April 11. Please be prepared to discuss and vote on the motion.

The Delegation of INC approves sending the following letter to the City and County of Denver Department of Parks and Recreation, copied to Mayor John Hickenlooper and members of the Denver City Council and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee: Kevin Patterson, Manager Department of Parks and Recreation City and County of Denver 201 W. Colfax Denver, CO 80202 [email protected]

Dear Mr. Patterson, At the INC Delegation Meeting meeting on March 14, 2009, your representative, Angela Casias, announced that a “pilot project” would commence in early summer wherein dog waste bag dispensers would be installed in five to ten Denver parks. Furthermore, this plan was publicly announced in a Parks and Recreation Newsletter sent out by Jill McGranahan on March 27. On January 20 of this year, Mr. Bill Airy, President of Poo Free Parks presented his company’s plan for such dispensers to The Parks and Recreation Committee of INC. The plan included signage with commercial advertising to be placed above the dispensers.

We encouraged Mr Airy to take the project to Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, to Registered Neighborhood Organizations, and to other interested park groups as a matter of community outreach. We also voiced our concern about advertising in the park and the possible push back from the community.

Although details of Denver Parks and Recreation’s “pilot project” are unknown, Parks and Recreation wrote an an article which was forwarded to INC members on March 15. This article stated stated that “We also will be rolling out a pilot project in early summer with a company that will install and maintain dog waste stations in 5-10 parks at no cost to the City. If this pilot project is successful, we hope to roll it out system-wide to help with our overall dog waste management goals.”

In responding to questions at the INC meeting on March 14, Ms. Casias, confirmed that commercial advertising would be featured as part of the dispenser project. She maintained that such advertising was not in violation of any City legal or policy requirements, but is, rather, allowed under the Department’s Policies and Procedures on Corporate Sponsorship, although Section 2.3 of these policies, states “…The permanent placement of a corporate logo, brand, or product placement in a public park or facility is considered advertising and [is] not allowed….”.

As we are sure you are aware, members of INC and city-wide Registered Neighborhood Associations are vitally interested in all projects slated for the City’s parks. City-wide Registered Neighborhood Organizations have not been included in the planning process for these dog waste stations. Therefore, the Delegates of INC hereby call for a moratorium on implementing the pilot project for dog waste which would include advertising in Denver parks. This moratorium would be in effect until such time as RNOs, other interested parties and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board have been included in a process to discuss the proposed pilot project. In the process, information could be shared on the assessment of the impacts and desirability of the dog waste project, the exploration of other alternatives that would help with the management of dog waste in parks and the project’s adherence to the intent of the City laws, regulations and policies.”