A lot of people complained when they discovered that the city’s Parks Department had yanked about 400 trash cans from about 128 neighborhood parks to deal with the budget crunch.
Not Steve Immel.
The Colorado Springs man decided to do something about it.
Immel is developing a plan that would bring trash service back to neighborhood parks if volunteers were willing to step up to the plate.
“About two weeks ago, I was walking my dog in the park and thought to myself that this can’t be all THAT difficult to address – at least in the short term,” he said in an e-mail.
“So, my idea was to get disposal companies to sponsor collection on normal weekly routes in exchange for ‘Proud of our Parks’ sponsor signage and promotion,” he said. “This would only be feasible for those parks that have a commitment by volunteers for the trash bags to be retrieved and placed curbside for pick-up on weekly basis. Seemed a simple solution that can have a significant impact on our community.”
Paul Butcher, the city’s director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, said the department has encouraged Immel to pursue his ideas.
“He’s for real as far as we’re concerned,” he said.
“Anybody who wants to adopt a park in any fashion has 100 percent of our support,” Butcher said.
In the e-mail, Immel said he’s made a lot of progress so far.
“I wanted to make you aware of this so that when the timing is appropriate that the Gazette can report on this,” he said. “Regardless of one’s political view on this issue, whether or not they voted for 2C or not, this is a great story of citizen|city|community|commercial collaboration to adapt to the current circumstances.”
In the e-mail, Immel reported the following:
– CS Parks, Rec & Cultural Services Director Paul Butcher has expressed that I have his “100% support” and has put me in touch with his key staff.
– I am coordinating with Kurt Schroeder on logistics
– I am in close communication with Stacy Stang, the city Adopt-a-Park coordinator. She has provided information on all of the currently adopted parks.
– I am in touch with the Council of Neighborhood Organizations (CONO) to coordinate recruitment of volunteers to support those affected parks that have not been adopted.
– I have met with Susan Davies, Executive Director of the Trails and Opens Space Coalition, who will support the initiative with administrative and tactical assistance.
– I have the full support of Eric Cefus of the Catamount Institute who also has the capability of reaching the Sustainable Business Network.
– Darryl Glenn is aware of and supports the initiative (he was specifically contacted as our park, Judge Lunt, is in his district)
– I have spoken with one and will be soliciting involvement from all other disposal companies that serve the region.
– The CS Independent is aware of the initiative and will assist with promotion
– Fox 21 is aware of the initiative and is interested in related news spots.
– I met with the BOD of the Norwood Recreation Association #1 (this neighborhood is adjacent to Judge Lunt) and they will support the initiative through communication.
– Presently at least 10 families from this association and the Sierra/Dakota Ridge neighborhood have stepped up to commit to volunteering to collect trash.
– There are discussions of neighborhood events to clean-n-green the city park, with heavy emphasis on kid involvement