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Wayward whimsy; Holiday decorations in open spaces discouraged

Public land holiday decorations
Posted at 6:40 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 08:16:49-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Putting up holiday decorations in Colorado Springs's open spaces and parks is not okay.

"We have a few urban trails in our park system that are notorious in our eyes as having decorations," said Colorado Springs Park Ranger Supervisor Gillian Rossi. When the decorations show up, rangers are required to take them down.

"Go for it in your own yard,” said Rossi. Only when decorating happens in parks and open spaces does whimsy become wayward.

Reasons for the random decorations are not always clear. It is suspected some are trying to spread holiday cheer. Rangers do know others put them up to take a holiday portrait and then fail to take them down.

"They sometimes don't understand the damage they can do by putting up those decorations," said Rossi.

Outside decorations in a more urban setting are monitored. Left behind in outdoor spaces they are forgotten, get blown down, and become litter that can get into waterways.

Wild animals do not see decorations, instead, they are attracted to something potentially harmful.

"A lot of our bird species here in Colorado might mistake them for a food source,” said Rossi, “They could get tangled in them. So, those clear dangly strings or the hooks or especially deer with their antlers could get tangled."

Addressing the issue is less about finger-pointing and more about education.

"We don't ever think there's malicious intent.”