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Fifth-graders advocate better care of Tubbs Hill

| December 13, 2010 8:00 PM

Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and City Council members recently received a letter reporting on the current state of Tubbs Hill. "We saw water bottles, cans, and lots of things that can be recycled," it read. "We would like it...well everyone would...if there were recycling bins at the entrance of Tubbs Hill." The letter was from two fifth-graders who attend Bryan Elementary school.

Often, letters to Mayor and Council only report problems or complaints. The vast majority do not offer suggestions for improvements or solutions. The two young citizens who penned this prose were ready to help solve the problem that they brought to the attention of the city's elected officials.

The authors had another critical observation: "...it would be nice if people would pick up after their dogs," the letter continued. "People will enjoy their walk a lot more [if they didn't have] to be on the look out for dog doo-doo."

The suggestion for having recycling bins at Tubbs Hill entrances has been forwarded to the city's Parks Department, as Mayor Bloem promised in her response to these young environmental enthusiasts. The mayor also said that, with regard to their second comment, the city can "do some education to remind people to clean up after their dogs."

Please take note: dogs are welcome on Tubbs Hill, but to maintain the hill's natural beauty and to have a safe recreational environment, the City of Coeur d'Alene has a leash law in effect. Citizens who bring their dogs to Tubbs Hill must be willing to make this natural experience safe for everyone. This means keeping dogs on leashes at all times. Dog lovers who really want to be good citizens also need to pick up after their dogs. It's a small responsibility compared to the great freedom of being able to bring your pet to this marvelous, outdoor sanctuary.

The city's ordinance reads, "It is unlawful for the owner or custodian of any animal, except domestic cats, to allow such animal to run at large...Animals are considered running at large if they leave their residential property unrestrained on a leash no longer than ten feet (10') in length, of sufficient strength to restrain the animal, and in control of a person of sufficient age and physically able to restrain and control such animal."

There are many reasons to restrain your dog. One is the fact that not all dogs get along with one another. Unleashed dogs increase the possibility that pets may be injured.

Another reason is that a variety of people walk on Tubbs Hill - young and old, short and tall, people who love animals and people who are afraid of animals - especially large, unleashed dogs. The recreation area is for everyone, and everyone who visits Tubbs Hill should feel safe.

For many people, having dogs on Tubbs Hill means that they must step more carefully on the path. Unleashed dogs will deposit their waste anywhere on the hill. Some comments from citizens have focused on the terrible smell of dog excrement, especially during the warmer, drier months.

The city's ordinance reads, "It is unlawful for the owner or custodian of an animal to permit the animal to defecate upon a public street, sidewalk, park, or other area, or upon the property of another unless the owner or custodian immediately removes and disposes of all animal waste..."

Treat Tubbs Hill like the jewel it is, and please obey the leash and clean up laws. You and your dog will be much more welcome on Tubbs Hill if you do.

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