Wagner Park’s unsung heroes | AspenTimes.com

Wagner Park’s unsung heroes

Dear Editor:If a photographer was roving around looking for a good character study to capture on film, he’d hit the jackpot if he could catch the expressions of quiet desperation on the face(s) of the parks department’s workers in charge of maintaining Wagner Park.I think Wagner Park is one of the primo jewels of Aspen. Kids and families play ball and Frisbee, people exercise and socialize their dogs and themselves; we watch baseball games, rugby games, polo games, volleyball games and some games I don’t have names for. There are huge concerts, tents all over the place for art expos, the Food & Wine demos inside circus-sized tents, fly fishing lessons (why not?), dog training sessions, events for children, hang gliders’ landing field. Have I forgotten anything? A place for a lunchtime or coffee-break snooze.And then there are the flowers. All the flowers. Beautiful, colorful flowers labored over by a troop of dedicated parks department caretakers. Have you ever watched them working hour after hour, bending over dead-heading and thinning out? They all work so hard.Let’s have an Appreciate-Your-Park-Department-Employee Week by adhering to a few kindly and well-deserved appreciations. When they put up ropes around bare spots in Wagner Park so they can try to bring back a patch of grass that has been destroyed by one of the many events, one after another planned by the city, keep your dogs and children out of those patches. That’s no big deal.If you have something to prove, I can think of a lot of worthy things to rebel against. Use the flower beds as a playpen, a kennel, a bike rack or a garbage can? I’ve seen all of these things over the years, and when I say something (the parks employees are forbidden to say anything to anyone about anything. I hope they are well-paid so they can afford their hyper-tension pills), I usually get a face full of claws. The town looks so beautiful this year. Even the occasional entitled aristocratic gargoyle can’t detract from Aspen’s beauty this year … and about all of that beauty has been planned, executed and cared for by employees of the Parks Department. I know, let’s have a big celebration for them in Wagner Park.Pat MilliganAspen