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Business owner voices support for EPRD
I am writing as a business owner and resident of Evergreen in response to John Watson’s Community Voices opinion column in last week’s Courier.
My husband and I have lived in Evergreen for 34 years. In 1979 we bought the Highland Haven Motel (now Inn), and we have personally and professionally made use of and been involved with our EPRD offerings continually since that time.
I feel we all owe the EPRD a debt of gratitude for the varied and wonderful offerings to our community. They are bountiful.
Anyone who has raised or is raising children benefits in untold ways from the value of our EPRD. Family enjoyment is beyond words ­— it is one of the reasons we chose to live here.
Business-wise, we delight in being concierge to Evergreen through our inn. We are sure to send our thousands of visitors each year to enjoy the splendor of our anchor, Evergreen Lake. Along the way, they spend — a lot.
I am sure that the offerings not only at the lake through the seasons but the events, parks and community involvement all make Evergreen uniquely special, desirable and enviable.
I have sat on many boards over the years that support and respect their relationships with EPRD.
Currently, I sit on the board of DEED, the Downtown Evergreen Economic District, and we are so very proud and appreciative of the efforts we embrace with our rec board.
I know for sure that the EPRD aids the health and vibrancy of the Evergreen community.
Gail Riley
owner, Highland Haven Creekside Inn

Use, not abuse, of Lake Park
I love the lake. The lake was the first thing that I fell in love with when coming to Evergreen in 1980. And then I followed the creek and the road beside it and fell in love with that, too, and the wonderful history of our town.
Now I have to question the current stewardship of the lake. Everyone should be able to enjoy it, but it has to be balanced with the health of the lake and its surrounds.
We have excellent marketing people at the Evergreen Park and Recreation District, but if you are promoting, you must provide the parking. It is totally inadequate, as anyone who goes by on a weekend can tell. The roads to the north and south of the lake are overrun. The private parking lots nearby are inundated. This is not right and is dangerous and irresponsible to bring this many cars into an area that cannot support them safely.
EPRD has “General Park Rules & Regulations” on its website, but they are not being enforced and instead are being completely ignored. Dogs are off leash and chasing wildlife; owners are not picking up their dogs’ waste; fishermen are leaving used fishing line to sabotage wildlife and pets alike; trash is left everywhere for someone (who?) to clean up; canopies and tents are set up along the shoreline with disregard to wildlife nests, not to mention the general decline of the natural shores of the lake due to overuse.
And why is the EPRD board marketing the lake this way? To what end? To sell more weddings? Are you a “for-profit” company? What are you doing with the hundreds of thousands of dollars that you are taking in each year? You’re certainly not spending it on “rangers” to inform people at the lake and enforce the regulations. And obviously it is not being spent on paid employees to pick up the trash, as everyone who walks the lake knows. Currently it is a free-for-all.
This is not the stewardship that the lake deserves. It is fine for people to use the lake, but it is not fine for it to be abused out of the desire to market our lake without monitoring its use, protecting its wildlife and natural beauty, and providing the necessary parking to support the attendance.
Sandra Slonim

Thanks for community support
To my wonderful mountain community: I would like to thank each and every one of you who sent prayers, hugs, donations, etc. in my time of need after the unexpected death of my brother, David Dean Miles.
You all helped in your own special way, and it is greatly appreciated. It makes me proud to call Evergreen my hometown.
Sandy Kidd and family