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In memoriam: Ron Buchanan, volunteer leader of Bear Creek Dog Park

Surrounded by upgrades he was a part of, then-Friends of Bear Creek Dog Park President Ron Buchanan posed for a photo in the park in August 2015. On his right are stations dispensing clean-up bags. The three structures in the background behind him were the start of the dog memorial, which has since completed and dedicated.
Westside Pioneer file photo
Ron Buchanan, 68, a volunteer who led major upgrades to the Bear Creek Dog Park, died May 12 “after a brief illness,” his obituary states.
       A “celebration of Ron's life is being planned for later in June,” the obituary adds.
       The Oklahoma native had a 30-year career with the American Red Cross. After retirement, Ron and other local dog owners came together to form Lovers Of Off-Leash Parks (LOOP) in 2004 (later renamed Friends of Bear Creek Dog Park), which coordinates with El Paso County Parks.
       The free, popular, 25-acre, off-leash facility is located off 21st and Rio Grande streets,
       Projects he helped organize there included full-boundary fencing, a separate “small-dog” area, a paved parking lot, a restroom with heat and electricity, creek drainage improvements, stations with cleanup bags, annual cleanup days and the recent dog memorial that also serves as a fundraising mechanism.
       Ron served as the Friends president from 2004 to 2015, at which point he announced he was stepping down (but helping transition his successor). “I love dogs, but it's time for me to move on and let somebody else do it,” he said in a Westside Pioneer interview in August 2015.
       Also at that time, the Pioneer asked Tim Wolken, whose Community Development Department includes the county's Parks Division, to comment on Ron's contributions. Wolken called him “one of the most dedicated and passionate volunteers that I have had the pleasure to work with. Ron deserves significant credit for helping to develop Bear Creek Dog Park into one of the finest dog parks in the country.”
       Ron is survived by his wife, Verda, to whom he'd been married for 37 years.
       The 2015 Westside Pioneer article on Ron is at this link.

Westside Pioneer/obituary
(Posted 5/23/16; Community: In Memoriam)

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