What’s with all the green plastic flowers around town? You know, the ones that look like little plastic bags, artfully knotted and with a floral flourish on top. I see more of these all the time, along sidewalks and trails – just about everywhere. Is this a community effort to add some green to our brown fall-winter landscape? Sign me, Color My World
The verdant plastic flowers are a peculiar local species that enjoys a symbiotic relationship with dog owners.
When a master picks up his or her mutt’s manure, the poop bag is tied with a knot.
Then the dog owner plops the seedy seedling trailside and forgets about it.
That’s why green plastic flowers are commonly known as the “Durango Forget-Me-Knot.”
If you prefer the scientific name, it’s Canis saccus excretia “Abandoned Emerald.”
Regardless, why on earth do people go to all the trouble to pick up and seal their dog’s doody in a bag and then dutifully leave it behind?
Why not toss the dross?
It’s one of the many seemingly unsolvable local mysteries.
Then Action Line has a chance morning encounter along The Boulevard.
A person was walking two large dogs and had just finished bagging the remains of the day, albeit at 7:47 a.m.
Shockingly, the dog owner hurled the hefty knotted-green bag toward some shrubbery.
“Do you need me to take them somewhere?” Action Line politely but pointedly inquired.
“Oh, no. I’m going around the block and will come back to get it,” the dog owner said matter-of-factly.
A-hah! So that’s the mindset.
It’s Durango, where mañana is a hard deadline.
Here’s a slogan for the Tourism Office: “The Durango Lifestyle is where we put the ‘pro’ in procrastination.”
Or should that be Durango puts the “crass” in procrastination? Could go either way. Your choice. Think it over and decide later.
Regardless, laid-back local dog owners will never get carried away with carrying it away.
Meanwhile, Action Line, being such a trusting person, doggedly returned to the scene of the grime the next day, with a reluctant Mrs. Action Line in tow on yet another romantic, investigative, adventure-filled outing.
Lo and behold, the green knotted bag was gone.
“Wow. This might be an historic first,” said Mrs. Action Line. “It might be the first time of a dog walker actually coming back and picking up a green bag.”
How ironic. History being made in the Historic District.
It’s interesting how some people consider leaving green bags as just a bagatelle. Not so much. Local dog-do laws have a bite to go with their bark.
The city code has this unambiguous section called “Removal of dog defecation from public and private properties.”
“Removed immediately” is threshold. Doggone dog waste begone posthaste!
Not to pile on piles, but another law offers a secondary citation for No. 2 violations.
This one is called “Unlawful deposits of objectionable wastes” and forbids anyone to “place or deposit” any “human or animal excrement” on public or private property.
Fines range from $300 to $1,000. Up to 90 days in jail can be tacked on as well, offering scofflaws a new leash on life.
Thus, when it comes to the green bags, Durango has well-established law and order to lawn ordure.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can ask for anonymity if your green plastic-bag “flower” put the germ in germination.