By Tom Mustin
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s one of the most scenic parks in Colorado, and it’s a favorite target of vandals.
“In my eyes it’s disgraceful,” visitor Steve Roumell told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.
As CBS4 reported on in April, Daniels Park in Douglas County has been hit hard by racist graffiti, trash, and dangerous campfires. Since CBS’s story aired, Douglas County and the City of Denver are now tackling the problem head on by adding $2 million worth of improvements to the park, and a bigger law enforcement presence.
“We’ve increased patrols in the area to make sure we really try to discourage any vandalism to the park,” said Scott Gilmore with Denver Parks and Planning.
Gilmore says along with the added patrols, park-goers will see fresh landscaping, a newly-paved road, and additional parking spaces. Fences have already been added to isolate some areas of the park.
That’s music to the ears of Castle Rock resident Nick Simms.
“I think it’s about time. It’s discouraging to come up here every day to see tiles pulled off the roof, graffiti, trash,” said Simms.
Simms has spent countless days picking up trash at the park. He’s hoping the new plan will make a difference.
“One day I picked up 102 beer cans,” he told Mustin. “Someone has got to pick it up. It’s just everywhere. It’s about time it stops.”
Gilmore says the new plan will be implemented in two phases, with Phase 1 set for later this year.
Park visitors like Brittany Jimmerson say they’re looking forward to the “new” home where the buffalo roam — a park with the same majestic views — free of graffiti and trash.
“I think it’s a great thing. It’s a very beautiful park and I think needs to be preserved as long as possible,” Jimmerson said.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says most of the vandalism has happened after hours and on weekends. Teenagers are suspected.
Deputies are asking anyone who sees something suspicious, call them immediately.