News March 6, 2019

News March 6, 2019
Ring the Peak Trail Update
Planners have been working on a route to span the 7-mile gap (as the crow flies) that remains on the southwest side of Pikes Peak. After much deliberation, there is now nearly 40 miles of trail proposed to finish the loop. Planners say this Ring the Peak segment could be a destination of its own, with a wide variety of nature and history along the way and portions catering to every level of hiker, biker and equestrian.
2019 Colorado Springs Elections
Ballots for the Mayoral race and Council-at-Large seats will be mailed this week! The Trails and Open Space Coalition sent questions to the candidates on topics like TOPS, Parks Funding, Bike Lanes and Park Priorities. Not all candidates chose to participate, but all were contacted and provided with the questions.
Don’t forget about the Candidate Debate on Thursday, March 7th.
County Parks now Require Dogs be on Leash
The Board of County Commissioners passed the amendment to reinstate leash requirements in county parks: Bear Creek, Fountain Creek, Falcon, Fox Run, Black Forest and Homestead. Dogs are still allowed off leash is designated locations, like the Bear Creek and Fox Run dog parks. Additionally, Falcon Regional Park and Fountain Creek Regional Park are constructing new dog parks. The Falcon dog park is scheduled to open by the end of March!
Public Lands News
Land and Water Conservation
On Feb. 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Natural Resources Management Act, Senate Bill 47. This is a monumental victory for the outdoor industry and public lands! The act includes permanent re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and will increase federal investment in the trails and parks.
City Council Candidate Debate
Thur. March 7, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Packard Hall: 5 W Cache La Poudre St
Learn more about City Council Candidates running for election at the Energy and Open Spaces Debate: A Town Collaborative. The debate will focus specifically on the topics of energy and open spaces, and the impact of these issues on life in Colorado Springs. Please RSVP here!
Sports & Recreation Expo
Thur. March 21, 5:00 – 8:30 pm
Ivywild School 1604 S Cascade Ave
Get ready for your summer of adventure at the Outdoor Sports and Rec Expo! Connect with local vendors to learn about events, fitness training and must have gear. Meet up with CityRock, SUP Colorado Springs, The Fix Colorado, cts, Colorado Fun Guide, and The Trails and Open Space Coalition.
25th Annual Starlight Spectacular
Sat. June 15, 9:00 pm – 12:00 am
Garden of the Gods: 1805 North 30th Street
One summer night in 1994, a small group of enthusiastic cyclists decided to get up in the middle of the night, ride bikes by starlight and watch the sunrise together. That late night ride led to the birth of an annual tradition,
the Starlight Spectacular.
Come be a part of one of the nation’s oldest and largest community bike rides; Early Bird Registration is now open. Cursing through the moonlit streets of Garden of the Gods and west Colorado Springs for 16, 21 or 23 miles—now with an early 4-mile kid friendly ride. This year we are celebrating “25 years of wild style”. Pick your favorite theme, superhero, wild west, space, the 60’s, pirates… get your costume, decorate your bike and join us for a spectacular night!
Volunteer Projects
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Trail Maintenance
Fri. Mar 8, 8:30 – 1:30 pm
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
410 JL Ranch Heights Rd
Volunteers needed! Trail Crews primarily perform routine maintenance on the 20 miles of existing trails. That can mean anything from pruning overhanging greenery to cleaning and re-building erosion control devices.
If you are interested in helping on a trail crew please contact Senior Ranger Darcy Mount,
Friends of Monument Valley Park Clean Up
Sat. March 9, 9:00 – 12:00 pm
Monument Valley Park Formal Gardens: 22 Westview Place
Join The Friends of Monument Valley Park for an early Spring Clean-Up of the Formal Gardens. Help pick up trash, rake leaves and trim dead foliage. Stay for one hour or three hours -whatever time you can spare will make a difference!
Equestrian Skills Course Work Day
Sat. March 9, 9:00 – 3:00 pm
Equestrian Skills Course at Bear Creek: 1045 Lower Gold Camp Rd
Come out and help build the only public equestrian park of its kind in the country! The Friends of the Equestrian Skills Course have started work on The Flats. Volunteers will be putting up fencing and possibly building obstacles to go in the area, as well as regular maintenance and trash cleanup.
For more information
Nature Center Volunteer Training
March 19 & 20, 8:30 – 2:00 pm
Bear Creek Nature Center
245 Bear Creek Road
Train to become an Environmental Education Leader for school field trip programs at Bear Creek Nature Center. Learn techniques and programs for connecting students to the foothills and surrounding ecosystems.
March 21 & 22, 8:30 – 2:00 pm
Fountain Creek Nature Center
320 Peppergrass Ln, Fountain
Train to become a Volunteer Field Trip Leader at Fountain Creek Nature Center. Learn techniques and programs for connecting students to the wetlands and surrounding ecosystems. For more information, please contact Paula 719-520-6387
Trail Love at Red Rock Canyon Open Space
Thur. March 21, 5:00 – 7:30 pm
26th Street Parking Area
1631 Bear Creek Rd
Help Medicine Wheel clear the corridor for a new portion of the “Half Pipe” trail. Volunteers will hike in from the 26th St. (Bear Creek Rd) parking lot. March weather is sketchy so be prepared for rain or snow.
North Cheyenne Cañon Volunteer Training
Sat. March 23,  10:00 – 2:00 pm
Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center 2120 S Cheyenne Cañon Rd
Support North Cheyenne Cañon Park by volunteering! Volunteer roles include providing visitors with information, directions, assistance (at centers & on trails), helping with education programs and park events (Hummingbird Experience in May, Canya Cañon Run/Hike in November), and/or park clean-ups.
Shooks Run Trail Clean-up
Thur. March 28, 3:30 – 5:00 pm
PikeRide Office
739 E Pikes Peak Ave
Join PikeRide for the monthly Shooks Run trail clean-up on PikeRide bikes! Please be sure to register so there are enough bikes on hand for everyone. You will be amazed by the impact you can make.
Trail Work at North Cheyenne Cañon Park
Sat. April 6, 8:30 – 3:00 pm &
Sun. April 7, 8:30 – 3:00 pm
North Cheyenne Cañon Park
2120 S Cheyenne Canyon Rd
Help finish the new Powell Connector Trail in North Cheyenne Cañon Park!
This will be a technical trail work day, perfect for those looking for the chance to sharpen your trail work skills, or new volunteers that are eager to learn. Volunteers must commit to a full workday.
Garden of the Gods Needs Volunteers!
Garden of the Gods is actively seeking volunteers to help lead guided nature walks and connect people with the Garden of the Gods.There are lots of ways to volunteer, help out with the Information Desk, School Programs, 5k Fun Run events, Trail work and more.
Friends and Partner News
Nature Center Survey
Please provide your input! Our nature centers are meant to connect visitors to their natural and cultural resources and inspire them to become stewards for the environment. Community input is essential in determining the feasibility of location, potential partnerships and collaborations, as well as the long-term use and maintenance of a potential northern El Paso County Nature Center.
Click here to take the survey,deadline is March 15.
Hike at Mueller State Park
Sat. March 9, 8:30 am
Mueller State Park
21045 CO-67, Divide
Explore the Nobel Cabin Loop in Mueller State Park. Join Naturalist Cindi on this 4-mile moderate hike in the woods on lesser used trail. Meet at Camper Services parking area; bring water, a snack and dress for the weather.
Parties for Parks
Sat. March 16, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, at Fountain Creek Nature Center
320 Peppergrass Ln, Fountain
Join Fountain Creek Nature Centerfor a fun community celebration of our County Parks! Enjoy the short film “The Garden Experience” followed by Parties for Parks reception with food and drinks.
Women in the Backcountry and the Boardroom
March 19, 4:00 – 6:30 pm
Ent Center for the Arts: 5225 N Nevada Ave
Join El Pomar Foundation for a discussion about women’s opportunities, contributions and engagements in the outdoor industry. Hilaree Nelson O’Neill, one of the most accomplished mountaineers in the outdoor industry, will be sharing her team’s expedition to Khakabo Razi in northern Myanmar.
Parties for Parks
Wed. March 20, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
JAK’s Brewing
11860 Stapleton Dr, Falcon
Drop in to meet local Friends Groups and Parks Staff and chat about what’s new with County Parks. Enjoy food, drinks and fun provided by JAK’s Brewing and Papa Johns Pizza!
Junior Naturalist Day!
Sat. March 30, 12:00 – 3:00 pm
Bear Creek Nature Center
245 Bear Creek Rd
Become a Junior Naturalist! Explore Bear Creek with guided hikes, touch tables and educational exhibits. This event is a great opportunity for families with children ages 7-12.
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