About

Started in 1987, we are committed to preserving open space and parks and creating a network of trails, bikeways and greenways for the Pikes Peak region.

Who we are

The Trails and Open Space Coalition is a 501c3 nonprofit created in 1987, and committed to preserving open space and parks and creating a network of trails, bikeways and greenways for the Pikes Peak region. We have a staff of four people and are governed by a board of directors.

What we do

We work cooperatively with local and regional governments, community organizations, businesses, families and individuals who share the vision of an interconnected network of trails, greenways and open space. We advocate, educate, build connections with other groups, fund projects, and create and support volunteer projects.

TOPS vs. TOSC

As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, the Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) receives NO government funds of any kind. Most of our support comes from individual contributions from people who care about parks and trails. A smaller part of our revenue comes from grants and fundraising events. We are sometimes confused with TOPS (Colorado Springs Trails, Open Space and Parks), which is the part of the Colorado Springs City government that administers the TOPS tax spending. The TOPS ordinance allocates sales tax funding for trails, open space and parks. Each year, the TOPS sales tax generates about $6M in revenue. The Trails and Open Space Coalition was instrumental in the 1997 passage of TOPS.

For more information about TOPS, see TOPS Info below.

TOPS INFO

Vision and Master Planning

Local communities create trails, parks and open space master plans which give a medium- to long-term blueprint for acquisition, development and use of public land. We help create the vision that drives the planning process, and the public support for implementation of these master plans.

We believe the public/private partnerships we have created are the best way to preserve open space and build trails in the region. TOSC has been involved, in partnership with other groups, funders, agencies and individuals, in the successful preservation of the HP property adjacent to Ute Valley Park, Red Rock Canyon, Section 16, White Acres, Corral Bluffs, Union Meadows, Austin Bluffs Open Space (formerly the Houck Estate), the Stratton Open Space, Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Bluestem Prairie, Blodgett Peak, High Chaparral and Catamount Open Spaces. We have helped get over 100 miles of trails built in Colorado Springs, another 65 in El Paso County and dozens more in Teller County and our mountain parks. We’ve funded trailheads at Blodgett Peak and Bluestem Prairie open spaces and are currently working on improving trail connections, helping to craft ambitious new master plans for El Paso County and the City of Colorado Springs, and finding a long-term solution to funding shortages in our city and county parks departments.

Fostering Friends Groups

One of our major efforts is creating volunteer citizens groups who will speak for particular open space parcels, parks or trails. We help them organize, and guide them on governance, volunteerism, advocacy techniques, fundraising methods and much more. We can also provide insight into the Colorado Springs TOPS program – how it works, how to write a proposal, etc. (Link to Friends Groups page).

Promoting Advocacy

TOSC can provide information on creating an advocacy organization like ours in your area. For more information, or if you would like to know more about trails, bikeways, parks or open space, call us at (719) 633-6884. We may also be reached through Contact Us.

 

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