HOW Many Dogs? You Gotta Be Kidding Me!
Yep, an estimated 5,600 dogs live in the greater Steamboat Springs area. Although many of our dogs are not registered, our last Census Report and our 2015 Community Survey help us figure out this statistic.
Let's crunch the numbers. The 2015 Steamboat Springs Census Report tells us there are 7,000 occupied households in greater Steamboat (which includes Heritage Park, Steamboat II, Silver Spur, and Tree Haus).
The 2015 City Community Survey tells us that 1/2 of the surveyed households had dogs. That gives us 3,500 dog households. Whoa! But wait, here's the rest.
Statistics tell us that, on average, there are 1.6 dogs per dog household. So, 3,500 x 1.6 brings us to 5,600 Dogs! This makes the dog caregivers a very significant user group in our city.
But Ashitaka (pictured here) isn't the only one with troubles. There are only 2 sanctioned off-leash areas for all of these dogs! You likely already know these areas are The Lower Pond at Spring Creek Trail and Rita Valentine Dog Park.
Sadly, the Spring Creek pond location is very small--maybe half an acre? Worse yet, this area has an uncertain future. The 6-Year Capital Improvement Budget has slated $25,000 for a 2017 study to breech the dam and eliminate the pond in 2018. Who knows what other decisions might be made for the area. But certainly this site will be closed during the construction period.
Luckily, and with great thanks to Don Valentine and his late wife, Rita Valentine, we have Rita Valentine Dog Park. But unfortunately the parcel of land, donated in 2005, has remained bereft of improvements. There is no water, no trees, no groomed play areas. The parking area is small and difficult, due to drainage issues.
For these reasons, Steamboat Digs Dogs has been working diligently to bring to the public suggested park improvements. On March 29th, we are meeting with the neighbors living near Rita Valentine Dog Park. We will be presenting our proposed improvements for the park. We would like to find out what concerns this might raise among the people bordering the area, and we would also like to learn of additional ideas for improvement.
We have some well-researched suggestions for the park and will provide images at the meeting that will help participants imagine some of the possibilities. March 29th at The Steamboat Grand, 5:30-7:00 PM. We hope to see you there!