Zach Soron, 11 reels his fishing in during a dedication ceremony Thursday at the Little Rascals Pond. The project to improve the pond took five years.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Zach Soron, 11 reels his fishing in during a dedication ceremony Thursday at the Little Rascals Pond. The project to improve the pond took five years.

$42,000 spent to make Craig's Little Rascals Pond wheelchair accessible

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Jayden Cromer, 3, tries to tempt fish during a dedication ceremony Thursday at the Little Rascals Pond at the Moffat County Public Safety Center. The event showcased improvements that have been made at the pond to make it more handicap accessible.

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A ribbon cutting took place Thursday at the Little Rascals Pond at the Moffat County Public Safety Center to recognize improvements made to the pond. From left are Moffat County Sheriff’s Office deputies Larry Dalton, and Ken Uecker, Craig Police Department Commander Bill Leonard, Pam Lathrop, Mariah Kowach and police department detective Dale Secules. Sheyenne Cromer is shown up front.

Story at a glance

• More than $42,000 in donations and grants were used to make the Little Rascals Pond near the Moffat County Public Safety Center wheelchair accessible.

• The project included new walkways, a bridge and a dock.

• Dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Thursday to usher in new changes.

• Volunteers said numerous community members and organizations helped make the project possible.

By BEN BULKELEY

Daily Press writer

After five years, more than $42,000 in donations and grants, and countless hours of donated work, it’s time to fish again at the Little

Rascals Pond.

On Thursday, there was a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the pond to celebrate improvements made in the past five years.

The pond, which is located adjacent to the Moffat County Public Safety Center, has been upgraded with a wheelchair-accessible dock that juts several meters over the pond, and improved walkways.

The improvements mean more people can now enjoy the spot, volunteer Pam

Lathrop said.

“This was the dream of (Moffat County Sheriff) Tim Jantz and the other sheriff’s officers,” she said. “They wanted to have a place where kids could come and fish.”

Thus, the Little Rascals Pond was created.

“This is one of the few places nearby for kids to fish,” Lathrop said. “The only problem was, it wasn’t handicap accessible.”

So, Lathrop and others set out to improve the pond.

A $34,500 grant from the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Fishing is Fun program represented a large portion of the money needed for the improvements, and another $8,000 was collected through donations.

But, some of the biggest contributions were free, Lathrop said.

“I can’t even count the hours of community involvement,” she said. “So many people from the community donated their time and energy.

“The inmates have been helping keep the grass down, working on the walkways and making it look nice.”

John Haddan and the Moffat County High School FFA program built a walking bridge, and numerous companies and individuals donated time to complete the project, Lathrop said.

Sergeant Ken Uecker and patrol deputy Larry Dalton of the sheriff’s office said all the agencies at the Public Safety Center helped complete the project.

“This was (Jantz’s) dream,” Uecker said. “It opened when we moved in here in 2002.”

Dalton said help from the Craig Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and dispatchers helped turn the pond into a spot for young anglers.

“Everyone helped to make this possible,” he said.

The pond, which is stocked with fish from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, is open daily through the summer.

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