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Public servants serve the public today

Mark Fox/The Aspen Times

The Aspen City Council will be dishing out burgers and dogs today at the ninth annual Community Picnic. It’s the council’s way of thanking the community for a successful summer season.

In keeping with the city’s goals of becoming more environmentally friendly, this year’s picnic is car-free. The council is encouraging guests to walk, bike or ride the bus to Paepcke Park between 5 and 7 p.m.The city is also making efforts to minimize waste at the picnic and to recycle or compost any that the picnic does generate.

The picnic will also be “carbon neutral,” the buzzword in environmental circles. The city has worked to minimize the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the event, but since that gas production can’t be eliminated completely, the Aspen Police Department will purchase 7,000 pounds worth of carbon offsets to compensate. The offsets are investments in efficient energy use or renewable energy sources elsewhere, such as a wind farm, to cancel out the emissions at the picnic.

In addition to going green, the picnic also offers a chance to celebrate some of the other colors in Aspen. Mayor Helen Klanderud will announce the winners of the Flower Power contest, which pitted more than 20 local businesses against one another to see who could come up with the most beautiful flower display.For more information on the picnic, call 429-2093 or visit

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