Carver County warns popular dog park will close if owners don't pick up after pets
Kate Gabriel and her dog, Ollie, love this Carver County dog park.
"There’s just a ton of acreage and it’s very spread out," said Gabriel. But on a visit earlier this week, she spotted a problem.
"I did notice there were a few spots that were dirtier than others, so I was just trying hard to navigate him through some of that, trying to avoid those areas," she explained.
The county says pet owners haven't been picking up after their dogs, and it's leaving the park unsightly and unsanitary.
Warning signs have been posted stating the park will close Monday morning if things aren't cleaned up.
"It's gross and it's going to get grosser," said Rodd Wagner.
Wagner stopped down over his lunch break Thursday to pitch in.
"My suspicion is it's not the people who made the mess who are going to clean it up, so I'm concerned there will be a reoccurrence if we keep getting a bunch of people in here who don't have the basic responsibility to clean up after their dogs," Wagner said.
In the past, the park charged a fee for use, but that recently changed, and some folks say they feel that is contributing to the problem.
"It has certainly brought in more traffic, I've seen more dogs in here, and that's fine, the more the merrier, but more dog evidence is a problem," Wagner said.
With roughly 18 acres and a mile of walking trails, trained therapy dog, Junior, enjoys the free space.
His owner questions if a nearby dog park in Eden Prairie, closed for the winter, is bringing more people here.
"The poop issue is happening because we have a lot of numbers of people, some stop to pick up the poop and others say, 'oh, there's poop there, we don't have to pick up,' but we do have to pick up," Junior's owner said.
The county has organized two clean-ups on Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. both days, but with snow in the forecast, they're asking people to get out and pick up now.
"I would be very sad to see it closed, hopefully, it stays open because it’s such a great place," Gabriel said.
The park is located at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park in Chanhassen.