Archie (center), Ella (left) and Arrow (right) enjoy the dog-friendly Field 2 in Melvin Park on April 26, 2020. The field, Dimond Park, and the grassy area on top of Gold Street are all closed to dogs indefinitely due to a rising amount of unremoved dog poop. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Archie (center), Ella (left) and Arrow (right) enjoy the dog-friendly Field 2 in Melvin Park on April 26, 2020. The field, Dimond Park, and the grassy area on top of Gold Street are all closed to dogs indefinitely due to a rising amount of unremoved dog poop. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Poop piles pose problem for parks

Three areas are closed, and more may follow if behavior does not improve.

The City and Borough of Juneau is closing several areas to canine visitors due to excessive dog poop.

The closures are to maintain health and safety standards, according to a CBJ news release.

“We’re not out here to clean up after your dog,” said CBJ parks maintenance crew leader Kevin Mitchell in a phone interview. “As far as I know, the plan is to do this temporarily to send the message that this is gross, and we can’t have it in public places.”

Dimond Park, Field 2 in Melvin Park and the area of land at the top of Gold Street adjacent to the parking lot will all be closed temporarily, according to CBJ. More areas may be closed if the issue continues.

Mitchell said the closures are not the result of COVID-19-related strain on city personnel.

Face coverings now required on buses, in city facilities

“We’re a little shorthanded, but we don’t normally pick up the poop anyway,” Mitchell said.

City employees are sick of getting dog poop on themselves while doing their work, Mitchell said. Many parks do seem to have more dog poop than usual, he said, but he was unsure why that might be.

However, COVID-19 has many spending more time at home with fewer places than usual to go, and that may factor into it.

“The parks were the one thing that really just never closed,” Mitchell said.

Dog poop doesn’t biodegrade like wild animal poop, according to CBJ. It smells awful, has harmful bacteria and pollutes groundwater.

Bags are provided at many trailheads and parks, Mitchell said, though those bags are meant to augment owners bringing their own bags, not replace them entirely.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Aug. 7

Here’s what to expect this week.

From left, Kelsey Dean, watershed scientist with the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, and Kaagwaan Eesh Manuel Rose-Bell of Keex’ Kwáan watch as crew members set up tools to drag a log into place. Healthy salmon habitat requires woody debris, typically provided by falling branches and trees, which helps create deep salmon pools and varied stream structure. (Courtesy Photos / Mary Catharine Martin)
 
The SalmonState: Bringing the sockeye home

Klawock Indigenous Stewards and partners are working to a once prolific sockeye salmon run.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police ID man missing from cruise ship

Coast Guard suspends search efforts

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 10, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

A northern oriole used dietary carotenoids to make its feathers bright orange. (Courtesy Photo / J. S. Willson)
On the Trails: The colorful world of birds

Colors are produced by cell structure, which can scatter light rays, making… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 9, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Ice fog, a phrase in Russell Tabbert’s Dictionary of Alaskan English, is not uttered in many other places because to form it takes a sustained temperature of minus 35 F. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Alaska lexicon sinks in over the years

When my little Ford pickup chugged into Alaska 36 years ago this… Continue reading

Mimi Israelah, center, cheers for Donald Trump inside the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska, during a rally Saturday July 9, 2022. Two Anchorage police officers violated department policy during a traffic stop last month when Israelah, in town for a rally by former President Donald Trump showed a "white privilege card" instead of a driver's license and was not ticketed. (Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News)
Alaska officers violated policy in ‘white privilege’ stop

It’s unclear what policy was violated or what disciplinary actions the two officers faced.

Most Read