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Evergreen Year in Review Part 2

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By Sandy Barnes

A burning issue

A proposed fire training facility at Evergreen Fire Station 2 drew heated opposition from residents objecting to its location near homes and schools.

Since announcing plans for the facility in April, the Evergreen Fire Protection District board and staff have faced criticism that has escalated to a recall of board members.

Fire Chief Mike Weege, firefighters and board members say the facility is necessary for adequate training at a nearby location. Weege began dealing with the issue shortly after being hired in May. 

However, residents have continuously asked that the project be delayed until another location is found. They also have suggested that Evergreen firefighters train at the West Metro Fire/Rescue Training Center in Lakewood. 

In deference to residents’ concerns, the fire district board agreed in June to postpone the project for three months to allow time for a committee review.

During that time, residents met with the fire chief and board members, looked at possible sites for the facility and visited the West Metro center.

When the three-month delay ended in September and the fire board voted to move forward with the project, some residents began seeking ways to lessen the impact of the facility. The fire district did agree to lower the building from four to three stories and to plant large trees for screening.

Others, however, decided to initiate a recall of the five fire district board members. After some hesitation, the residents involved in the recall began collecting signatures.

At the December meeting, the fire district board appropriated funds for the facility while also passing a resolution to seek another location for it in the future. 

Board member Charlie Simons said that because the facility is a prefabricated building, it could be moved to another location after it is placed at the fire station site.

Evergreen Lake Park, recreation center see improvements

The Evergreen Park and Recreation District began renovating and improving Evergreen Lake Park and the Wulf Recreation Center this year.

Those who came to the first outdoor concert of the season at the lake in June enjoyed a new lawn and a relocated public art sculpture on which youngsters could play. 

The $200,000 project included replacing fencing, lighting and an aging irrigation system. A covered stage for performers was also installed. 

Eagle Scout Reggie Dickhoff of Evergreen contributed to the park improvements by building a handicapped-accessible picnic table and adding landscaping to a fishing pier beside the lake.

In another major undertaking, the Wulf Recreation Center was slated for $400,000 in upgrades.

The two-phase project developed by Design Concepts includes upgrades to the skate park, a multi-use court, improved handicapped accessibility and replacing playground equipment. 

An energy-efficient project that was completed this year by McKinstry will bring $43,000 in annual savings to the park district.

Aging heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment was replaced with high-recovery units at the Wulf Rec Center swimming pool, along with energy-efficient lighting.

Community outreach addresses many needs

Evergreen residents responded to emergency and ongoing needs in the community with generous donations throughout the year.

In the wake of the devastating Lower North Fork Fire, fund-raisers began in the spring to aid victims who lost homes and property. The Mountain Resource Center served as a focal point for directing assistance to those affected by the wildland fire in late March.

Evergreen Christian Outreach continued its services to people in need of assistance with donations from residents. After learning of a shortage of food at the organization’s food bank, residents and organizations brought thousands of pounds of groceries to its doors this fall.

EChO also enhanced its program that helps people find employment with additional services this year.

A special fund-raiser for a seriously injured former Evergreen High School student took place in August.

Hundreds of EHS students, alums, parents, teachers and friends rallied to help Scott and Klaudia Haebe, whose son Ryan sustained a head injury when he fell 13 feet as he was trying to climb onto the roof of an apartment building in Boulder. Supporters donated $6,127 to help the Haebes pay for medical and living expenses not covered by insurance. 

And the annual Big Chili Cook-off sponsored by Blue Spruce Kiwanis packed Evergreen Lake Park with supporters who help raise funds for six area fire departments, including Evergreen Fire/Rescue.

An EAS+Y way to garden

A project years in the making blossomed in the fall with approval and support from the Evergreen Park and Recreation District.

Evergreen’s Alliance for Sustainability received the go-ahead from the park district board—and substantial grants—for a community garden project at Buchanan Park.

The plan developed by EAS+Y includes 26 garden plots that would be leased for use, renovation of two buildings at the site, and installation of a water tap for irrigation. To keep out elk and deer, a high fence will be placed around the garden.

Also included in long-range plans for the project is renovation of a building on the one-third-acre site to use as an educational center. 

According to Rachel Emmer, interim executive director for EAS+Y, $35,000 is the target amount for the first two phases of the project, $12,000 of which is in hand. 

The budget includes $21,250 in grants and in-kind services.

Funds to maintain the garden would come from the $125 annual fees EAS+Y would charge to lease the garden plots, said Emmer.

Responding to board member concerns about liability for the use of park property, Emmer said the organization has formulated a waiver for gardeners to sign that is designed to release the park district from liability.

Evergreen’s wildlife makes the news

A week before Valentine’s Day, the story of a lovelorn goose made the front page of the Canyon Courier. Nita, a Chinese white goose owned by a Morrison couple, was inconsolable after her soulmate, Pedro, died. 

In June, Evergreen residents began seeing a cow at various locations, including the Safeway parking lot and Taco Bell. The bovine escaped from a farm on Stagecoach Road and was apparently having the time of her life while on the lam.

Also this past summer, caring residents rescued a cormorant that was ensnared in fishing line and hooks at Evergreen Lake. 

Along with the usual elk and bear sightings came an interesting twist in September when a young bruin decided to attend school one fine day.

Evergreen Middle School was in lockdown for an entire day while the bear walked around the campus and climbed a tree or two. 

The bear apparently traveled to Evergreen from Boulder, taking a week to make the journey, according to Division of Wildlife officials who had been tracking it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Going to be O.K.( … but) – Pamela Lawson   12/17/10 draft  (sending 9:28 p.m.) Copyright 2010    page PAGE 31

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