After years of design work, bids and grant applications, construction on the Falcon dog park, part of the Falcon Regional Park, is almost complete.|
Jason Meyer, project manager II with the planning division of the El Paso County Community Services Department, is overseeing the project, and he said work will be done at the site during the next couple months.
El Paso County approved a master plan for the regional park in 2014, which included plans for the 10-acre dog park. Initially, the master plan included a 4-acre dog park but community members pushed for the additional space.
Meyer said the county has a $60,000 budget for the park — $45,000 is from a Great Outdoors Colorado mini-grant that uses a portion of state lottery proceeds to fund projects like this one. The budget cap slowed progress on construction because some bids came back higher than expected, Meyer said.
“We are currently installing fencing for the dog park,” he said. “There will be an 8-acre part for large dogs and 2 acres for small dogs, which will be fenced off from each other. We are also working to get the parking lot done in the next month or two.”
Additionally, the dog park will include a looped trail that will be installed once the fencing and paving of the parking lot is completed, Meyer said. Ideally, the park will be completed by Dec. 31, but Colorado weather makes it difficult to commit to that date; thus, the completion date could be sometime in January, he said.
“We are planning to do a ribbon cutting ceremony when construction is completed.”
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Each year as the holidays approach, High Plains Helping Hands food pantry, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves the eastern plains area of El Paso County, looks to the community to help fill the gaps for provisions they need for the almost 2,000 clients they serve each month.
Helping hands needed for Christmas
Food pantry gears up for the holidays
By Lindsey Harrison
Dianna Frazier, food pantry manager, said the pantry currently has food drives in motion; however, the food runs out quickly, especially in December when their clients receive a turkey and an additional bag of food, along with their regular monthly allotment.
“We are going to need canned yams, canned pumpkin, green beans, boxed stuffing — things that you would find in a traditional holiday meal,” Frazier said.
The food pantry’s hours of operation for December are Tuesday and Thursday of the first three weeks of the month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an additional day on the 15th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The last day of operation for the year is Dec. 20; the pantry will re-open Jan. 8, Frazier said. The pantry is located at the Mountain Springs Church, southeast of the intersection of Woodmen Road and Black Forest Road in Colorado Springs.
Aside from the food drives, Frazier said the pantry is working on other ways to support their clientele. This spring, the pantry will launch a new program called “Adopt a Plot.”
Anyone can participate in the Adopt a Plot program, which will provide fresh food from one of the pantry’s onsite gardens, while also offering education and an employment opportunity for the pantry’s clients, she said.
“We are very appreciative and grateful for all the holiday food drives taking place, but we operate year round and need help throughout the year,” Frazier said.