Earlier this week trail users were stunned to learn that an assailant stabbed 8 people in the vicinity of the Pikes Peak Greenway and America the Beautiful Park. None of the assaults were fatal. Victims were hospitalized and several have been released. The stabbings took place around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning and made local, state and national news.
A city’s reputation can change quickly. Last week Colorado Springs was ranked #13 on the New York Times list of 52 places around the world to visit in 2020. Only 7 U.S. places made that list. This week we are known for a series of random stabbings near our trail system.
Here at the Trails and Open Space Coalition, we have no doubt our trails and parks are safe for residents and visitors, individuals and families, people of all ages and abilities; especially when they are used during hours of the day when they are considered “open.”
At the same time, we hear from our members that there are sections of trails they avoid and no longer feel safe using.
We appreciate how swiftly law enforcement responded to this crime and apprehended the assailant. We ask them to remain vigilant, making sure local laws are followed so that trail users can move freely and confidently on all parts of our trail system.
Should you witness or experience an assault on our trails or in our parks, please report it to police. A quick and easy way is to use the GoCOS! It allows you to report a crime online. (Of course if it’s an active emergency, call 9-1-1.)
Finally, TOSC is partnering with UCCS for “Coffee with a Cop” on February 12th, 9-11 a.m. At UCCS Downtown, 102 S. Tejon St. It’s your chance to ask questions about trail safety.
Transportation Improvement Plan
Wed. Jan 22, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
14 S Chestnut St
Come to the public open house to learn about the Transportation Improvement Plan hosted by Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG). PPACG is responsible for managing state, local, and federal transportation and transit funds. The Transportation Improvement Plan is a short-range (four-year) plan that implements the long-range Regional Transportation Plan’s goals and identifies the specific transportation and transit projects for which the region will allocate its federal, state, and local funds. The Public Comment Period for this upcoming Transportation Improvement Plan is January 9 – February 7.
Parks, trails and open spaces generate substantial economic benefits to our community. They not only enhance the quality of life to our residents, they enhance property values, increase local spending at local businesses and support local jobs. In short, parks, trails and open spaces are good for business!
Additionally, residents of Colorado Springs adore their parks, trails and open spaces. By supporting TOSC, businesses are showing their interests are aligning with the interests of their customers. Businesses of all sizes support TOSC through sponsorships, becoming business members, donating products or services, and hosting fundraisers to benefit TOSC.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, The National Parks Service is offering free admission! Fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite, like Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
The Foothills Trail is Open
Great news, trail users. The Foothills Trail in Garden of the Gods reopened on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020! Although the trail is accessible, you’ll still see construction work on the flood mitigation project taking place through the end of March, weather permitting. For your safety, please stick to the trail and do not enter the construction site.
Additional short trail closures may occur this spring so crews can complete replanting efforts along the trail. For more information about the project visit www.ColoradoSprings.gov/CampCreek.
Ute Valley Park Map
You’ve asked for it, and now it’s finally here! A new trail map for Ute Valley Park containing the Downhill Hike Area. Maps will be posted at all park entrances. Enjoy your time in Ute Valley Park and remember to always Leave No Trace!
El Paso County Parks is repairing a section of the Fountain Creek embankment at the Willow Springs Ponds. During this project, sections of the Fountain Creek Regional Trail and Ceresa Park may be closed between November 2019 and March 2020.
This is the third and FINAL public meeting for the “Re-Imagine Waldo Canyon Public Planning Project.” This final public meeting will provide an opportunity to share the community vision you have helped to craft over the course of this planning process. Come review important information the community has shared such as desired trailheads, trail networks, and trail connections; proposed next steps; how to stay informed and connected moving forward. For more information, please visit the project website at www.waldocanyonplanning.com.
Member Hike – Snowshoeing at Mueller State Park
Sat. Jan 25, 8:00 – 1:00 pm
Mueller State Park
Let’s go snowshoeing! Mueller is the perfect place to enjoy a winter outing. “Hiking Bob” Falcone, will lead this moderate 4-mile trek in a majestic snow-covered forest. Mueller State Park has stellar views of Pikes Peak and is home to abundant wildlife.
You don’t have to hang up your hiking boots or put away your bikes once winter temperatures start to creep in. With some preparation and knowledge, you can enjoy outdoor activities all year long. This month’s STEAMy Sunday features Hiking Bob, a 28-year Colorado Springs resident who leads guided hikes all over the area and is well known for his “Outdoors” section in the Colorado Springs Independent. Hiking Bob will provide insider knowledge for the best trails to hike, bike, and snowshoe during the winter months and discuss what kind of equipment and gear you need to be prepared for snowy trails.
The holidays are over and you’re dreaming of warmer days…chase away those winter blues with your family in the beauty of one of the City’s gorgeous natural areas, Ute Valley Park! Join TOPS staff for a one mile, family-friendly hike. Learn how plants and animals survive winter, play some games, and enjoy the magic of this season. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED – $5 PER PERSON – LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE.
Learn how to provide assistance during a cardiac emergency, how to provide CPR and/or basic first aid skills. Upon successful completion, participants will receive certification through the American Red Cross. Must be 16 years old or older. $50 per class or $75 for both classes. Pre-registration required.
Join a naturalist for a 2.5-mile hike through the Central Garden. The focus will be on the nature behind the park designation of National Natural Landmark. Bring your questions, cameras and binoculars. Reservation required – $5 per person.
Celebrate winter birds at Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center! Enjoy a fun day of bird themed activities: bird walks, rock painting,bird feeder craft and games! A $5 donation is suggested and will be used for educational programs at Starsmore.
Join the Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds for the 8th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count. This event is held in conjunction with the 23rd Annual International Great Backyard Bird Count, February 14 -17, 2020. This is an international citizen science effort to capture a worldwide count of bird populations!
Meet in the lower lobby of the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center to sign in, then depart for a run, jog or walk in The Garden / Rock Ledge Ranch. Kids are welcome and there is a stroller friendly paved route option. Dogs welcome on leash only and please bring baggies to pick up after them. This is not a race, just a fun way to get fit and enjoy the great outdoors. Plus, earn prizes for completing 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 runs!
Join The Guardians of Palmer Park and The Mission Continues for a work day in Palmer Park in honor of MLK.
Volunteers will traverse the park picking up trash and collecting dog waste. Smaller groups may perform minor trail maintenance. Please pre-register at http://cerv.is/m?0132gcyjAJt.
Sand Creek Clean Up
Sat. Jan 18, 12:00 – 5:00 pm
3750 Astrozon Blvd. #120
We need your help! The Sand Creek Clean-up project will be the third Saturday of each month. Gathering at The Community in Astrozon Plaza then head down to the Sand Creek Trail to clear the trash that is overtaking our neighborhood.