By Makenzie O’Keefe

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) -Residents enjoying the High Line Canal Trail on Tuesday say they are grateful for this resource in their community and would ask for few changes as a second phase launches to plan updates and improvements over the next several years.

“I think it’s even gotten better, it seems to be cleaner,” said Dave Anderson, a frequent user of the trail.

For many across the Denver metro area, the High Line Canal is more than just a trail; it’s a way of life. The recreational area welcomes hundreds of thousands of users every year.

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The High Line Canal Conservancy is asking for feedback as it moves forward with significant planning of the 71-mile regional trail later this year.

“I am on the trail everyday with my dog without fail,” said Dan Purse, a Centennial resident. “If we were going to move, having access to something like this would be a primary thing for us.”

The Conservancy hosted an open house to hear from the public on Tuesday night and will host another event on April 26.

Just last year, the team completed a Community Vision Plan. That included input from over 3,500 people about how to improve the trail while also keeping it a natural, connected, continued and enhanced resource in the region.

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People along the trail were more concerned about others cleaning up after themselves whether they were on horse or walking their dog. But some said more access points and adjustments to the trail to keep it off busy streets would be helpful.

“Either an underpass or an overpass over the Broadway crossings which are numerous over this trail,” added Anderson.

The team will use that information to focus on developing a Framework Plan, which is anticipated to be complete in the fall of 2018.

The final Framework Plan will focus on additional open space, signs, crossing safety, landscape guidelines, education programs for increased access and use, and long-term protection.

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The committee wants community engagement on the planning process. They are hosting an open house at the Goodson Recreation Center from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Makenzie O’Keefe joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2017. Read her bio, follow her on Twitter at @makenziepokeefe or email her your story ideas.

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