Crew cleans out Aspen homeless camp
Vail, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Aspen and Pitkin County open space rangers cleaned out a homeless camp along the Roaring Fork River in Aspen, not far from the Mill Street bridge, Tuesday morning.
Two men, residents at the camp, were warned last week to pack up and vacate, according to John Armstrong, open space and trails ranger for the county. They did so, and cleaned up their site fairly well, he said.
But a crew of four cleaned up five or so other abandoned campsites littered with tents, soggy clothing, books, junk and waste. The crew filled a couple of pick-up trucks in the process of cleaning the area up.
“It was a stinking, disgusting mess,” Armstrong said.
The site is county property, surrounded by city property, but was not dedicated open space. The tents were pitched in an area of dense willows along the river, but a city ranger spotted signs of camping last week from the bridge, prompting the action.
“We will be patrolling it on a regular basis now,” Armstrong said.
Illegal camping on public property around Aspen is not new, and the men who were told to leave last week have probably set up camp elsewhere, he said.
“They moved somewhere else. That’s a constant challenge. It’s a constant hide-and-seek with the open space program,” Armstrong said.