Thistles a thorny problem |

Thistles a thorny problem

A West End resident was hoping to stick the city of Aspen with a thorny problem on Monday, but the city declined to get stuck.

Karen Coordes showed up at the City Council’s informal “brown bag lunch” meeting to say she is worried about the proliferation of thistles at the so-called “race track” at the Aspen Meadows campus.

Coordes, who has been helping City Council member Jim Markalunas and his wife, Ramona, to keep the race track property free of thistles in the past, said the problem is getting worse. In fact, she said, it’s getting worse all over the West End in general.

Coordes said she talked with Pitkin County’s weed manager, Michael Craig, and that “he told me we were more or less wasting our time” in trying to eradicate the thistles.

So, she said, she came to the City Council in hopes that the city has a weed-control program.

But City Manager Amy Margerum said the city’s weed-control program is for public properties only, and the race track is privately owned. The land, basically a large meadow that once was an actual race track, is owned by The Aspen Institute except for several parcels being developed along the new Meadows Road.

The City Council instructed staffers to check to see that the city’s weed-control program is being carried out, and to investigate whether the city can pass a law requiring private landowners to control their weed and thistle problem.

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