General Meeting Minutes – February 2013

General Meeting at University Park Elementary School

February 6, 2013

Social Time from 6:30-7pm and about 75 people were in attendance.

Meeting opened at 7:00 by President Dana O’Connor.

A reminder that the UPark Elementary Silent Auction is on Monday February 11th & to save the date for the home tour on Sunday May 5th. If there is any interest in the Harvard Gulch trails, please contact Dana directly. There are also 2 more crosswalks on Adams around the school and James Bettinger is working on more.

Dana Miller from the Observatory Park Community Garden & Grow Local – Came to promote local foods. The neighborhood has interest in working together on a community garden. They will receive donations for seeds, but as a community we are the caretakers & then we are to take the food to the pantry on University & Asbury. Produce for Pantry is trying to get more fresh & healthy items into food community pantries.

More on neighborhood development with Dana O’Connor. 2 new restaurants opened near Colorado & Yale by King Soopers -Lark Burger & The Slotted Spoon.

At the Colorado Center – Long Bar is in construction. With a soft opening scheduled for the spring of 2013. One Observatory Place is set to open April 8th, but no retail leases are final. & 5 apartment leases have been signed. The property to the South West of the light rail station is set to begin ground breaking this month. This will be 55+ older residential community.

DU updates – will be at our next General Meeting

Additional field and expand the existing space west of the Richie Center & new engineering building on the south side of the campus near the 2300 block of S. York.

YMCA – Neil Alderson brought the expansion site plans. YMCA is hoping to serve the community better. They have been in our neighborhood for 50 years. Lots of enhancements with a new aquatic center, fitness center, with almost 3x the space and many others to include better parking. Pamphlets passed out with the new ideas & designs on them. The hopeful start date to be late this year with an 18-24month-construction timeline. Costs are 6.5-7million for the project.

Doug Kelley – City Animal & Wildlife Programs Coordinator and Scott Gilmore – Deputy Manager of Parks and Planning. All about Coyotes. There is 1 wildlife officer for the whole city – there are just not enough staff. They need the public to step up and help by making the coyotes unwelcome. “Wildlife Highways” as they call them, all over Denver and provides food, such as gulches, parks, golf course, parks – etc. Coyotes go where the food source is. They are urban wildlife. Hazing & Exclusion are recommended. They are trying to remove those few coyotes that are immune to the hazing. Here are a few more key points:

  • Descriptions & Behaviors of Coyotes/Fox
    • Coyotes can be up to 4 feet long and up to 45lbs, great sense of smell, poor vision, and breed 6-9 pups in the early part of the year. Pups run around in groups and play – they often aren’t scared of people. Life expectancy is about 10 years in Denver for them. They eat pretty much anything but are primarily carnivores. They dig dens and often the coyote stool has bones and seeds in it. Their paw prints always have nail marks attached to the paw, which is different from most domestic pets. Coyotes will eat foxes almost immediately. They see the foxes as food competitors.
    • The behavior. Mostly howling noises can be heard from them. Coyotes following and staring is more of them escorting you away from them and possibly their young. They don’t hunt in packs like wolves. They are active in the early AM and late PM – unless they become used to people. As a side note there is more info from Stewart Brek doing who is doing a study on Coyote pattern and movements. He has a checklist for elimnateiton of them.
    • Why they live in our neighborhood – We provide food.
      • Bird Feeders tend to draw more than just birds, they love brush, and berry bushes. Easily accessible trash, pet food, birdbath, compost – etc are also huge attractors. Literally they will eat anything. Looking for the easiest free meal they can. Please don’t feed the wildlife.
      • What you can do to prevent negative encounters
        • Coyotes don’t typically go through dog doors, but raccoons & skunks enjoy them. Locking the dog doors at night can possibly save a pet. Motion lights are great & well as motion sprinklers. Eliminate under deck space that animals can hide in, play talk radio so they think people are near. Other ideas for hazing are to spray with them with a hose, pot and pan banging, spraying with water, throw stuff at them. Make yourself big by screaming and waving arms, a pop can with pennies shaking and throwing it scares them away. Whistles and air horns are huge deterrents too. Please DON’T RUN, or make eye contact and carry your child or pet. If necessary – fight back.
  • How can we help
    • This time of year is when the young are leaving the Den and looking for food on its own. If the coyote is being aggressive call 911 or Colorado State Patrol. Scott’s Cell is 303.324.1063.
    • Proactive approach – Soaking rags in ammonia for skunks and raccoons to keep them away too.
    • Removing shrubs where a current den is and hazing them – will get them to leave. Stay on the hazing, don’t give up and change your tactics too. Call 303.391.7227 or 311 to get signs and coyote help. Hazing has been proven and only the community can help.
    • You cannot kill them – they are apart of the city. Killing doesn’t help unless you eliminate their food source. More food keeps them healthy and they breed to the size of the food source.

Channel 31 new was present and taping during the Coyote discussion.

Meeting adjourned at 8:25p