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The Highlands in Grand Rapids reminding dog owners to pick up after their pooches

Posted at 3:18 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 18:52:29-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — There’s a bit of a messy situation at happening a nature preserve on Grand Rapids’s west side.

The Highlands within Blandford Nature Center is reminding dog walkers and others to pick up after themselves. It’s a problem they’re seeing more of as temps start to warm up.

“The trail has been getting a little messy,” said Julie Batty, the land stewardship manager at Blandford Nature Center.

They're seeing the biggest issue at the Highlands.

Picking up is the not-so-glamorous side of being a dog owner, but Batty said you just have to do it.

She said, “Even though this is a natural area and not your neighbors' yards, we still need people to be picking up their dog poop and taking it into the trash.”

The nature center posted about the problem on Facebook.

Batty said, “Sometimes we will find nicely bagged and tied-off bags of poop that have just been left along the trail.”

She told FOX 17 that those bags will even be left on the trail within feet of the trash cans, adding that this tends to happen as we slowly switch from winter to spring.

“This time of year it becomes very noticeable, because the snow melts and we start to see all of the dog poop that’s been left over the last several months,” Batty explained.

The park provides dog waste bags right next to their trash cans at the trail entrance.

Batty said it’s really a small ask to make their more than 120 acres of space enjoyable for everyone.

“This has been such a hard year for people everywhere, and we’re hearing from so many visitors that they’re just really grateful that our trails are open and they’ve got a place to kind of relax and be outside during this time. But finding something gross on the side of the trail or stepping in it or worrying about your kids stepping in it--that can really detract from the experience,” Batty said.

Batty added that they’re also seeing a big problem with people letting their dogs off the leash, which is against the law and can be a problem for dogs who don’t do well with other dogs or people who might be scared of them.

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