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Reader: Your donations are ruining our city 

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On June 30, the section of Midland Trail between 31st Street and Ridge Road was "camper-free," and after a recent cleanup campaign organized by Jerry Cordova [who handles stormwater education/outreach for the city], the area was also trash-free. Then an ordinance was passed on July 10 prohibiting camping within 100 feet of a public waterway in Colorado Springs. The Midland Trail section is in El Paso County's jurisdiction, not Colorado Springs'.

On Aug. 26, there were at least a dozen campers along the trail there again, and mounds of garbage strewn about. Also, along the trail in both directions, a lot of garbage bags opened with contents strewn about. A few times a month, I go down there and clean up an abandoned campsite or pick up garbage. A lot of other people do too.

Is there a way for local governments to police the trail every few days, and keep campers out? Local citizens are kind, and want to help the homeless people, but roadside donations only attract more people and encourage illegal camping and associated garbage. Remember, some of the homeless people that are causing this moved here for easy handouts and easy access to drugs, and none of them give a hoot about keeping this beautiful area clean.

Your donations are being used for drugs, marijuana and liquor and only enable people to maintain this lifestyle and ruin our city. I encourage everyone who donates to panhandlers to travel this section of trail, and see what your donations are really causing.

— Bill Walters

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