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Cañon City 10-year-old creates change for wildlife at Centennial Park

Duck crossing sign
Posted at 7:56 PM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 09:17:28-04

CAÑON CITY — A young citizen in Cañon City is making a big difference at Centennial Park. Thanks to her idea, our feathered friends at the park are a bit safer.

10-year-old Avani Meek goes to the park every week with her family and noticed ducks lying in a busy street near the pond. She was worried with cars driving fast, that the ducks would get hit, so she decided to do something about it.

Avani brought her concern to the Cañon City Council meeting in May and asked for duck crossing signs to alert drivers on the road of the wildlife.

Cañon City Mayor Ashley Smith and other council members loved her idea and began working to make custom duck crossing signs.

"I felt proud because I knew I made a good change," Avani said.

Two months later, duck crossing signs are now standing along Fourth Street near Centennial Park, all thanks to Avani's idea.

"It was really awesome to have a young person come and be engaged in civic governance, and really advocating for the improvement in the community," said Mayor Smith.

Smith said other citizens have reached out to her appreciating the new signs.

"It's just it's a fun part of being a part of a small community and making the world a better place," she said.

Avani's mother, Cassidy Guntli, helped her daughter come up with a speech for the council meeting and got to see her plan come to life.

"It takes a lot to get up in a room of adults when you're a kid. I'm just really proud of her bravery and her follow through," Guntli said.

"She's going to be the next mayor because she's already experienced it, she's comfortable with it and she's going to really do some great things," said Smith.

Now, Avani can continue coming to the park knowing this little community of ducks is a bit safer.

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