News Wednesday June 10, 2020

Our Commitment to Inclusion and Equity in our Parks, Trails and Open Spaces

Amid the call for social justice and equity, we have to ask ourselves, are we doing all that we can as individuals, organizations and a community to promote inclusion and equity. As an advocacy organization, our goal is to represent the voices of our community as it pertains to our trails, parks and open spaces. But when we take a hard look at our membership and those using our trails and open spaces, the lack of diversity is strikingly clear. Is it an access issue? For some. Is it an issue of lack of inclusion. Perhaps. Is it a lack of exposure or knowledge of our local resources? Maybe. TOSC is committed to taking a hard look at this issue and what we can do to promote inclusion and equity in our parks, trails and open spaces. We aren’t sure what this will look like yet, as admittedly, this is not something we have a lot of experience exploring. But, we now commit to be part of the solution.

Monument Preserve

Have you ever witnessed a sunset at Monument Rock? Have you ever hiked or rode the trails near the Monument Fire Center? The trails network in the Monument Preserve have become a hot commodity. Due to the explosion in popularity during the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order, trails are getting chewed up and widened. On July 14th, the Friends of Monument Preserve will have their monthly trail night where they will combat these issues with a social distance friendly volunteer trail maintenance. To learn more about the workday and to learn about how you can support the Friends of Monument Preserve, please visit their website at fomp.org. Even if you cannot attend a trail night at the Monument Preserve, you can help reduce stress on the trail network by staying on marked paths, packing out trash and avoiding adventures when muddy conditions exists.

PARK AND TRAIL UPDATES

Northern Incline Trail
Construction has begun on the first phase of the new Northern Incline Trail. A 1.1 mile naturally-surfaced trail just north of the Manitou Incline that will connect to the Ute Pass Regional Trail, providing an option other than Barr Trail for users to hike down. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of July 2020, (weather dependent). Thanks to Incline Friends for funding trail construction. The Incline remains closed at this time. When it reopens and the new northern route completed – we will let you know. Read more.

Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is now open daily from 9am – 3pm. The restrooms, gift shop and park adventure tours are operating, with more services to follow soon. Stop by to purchase a fun souvenir and pick up a free park map. All proceeds from the gift store benefit Garden of the Gods Park.

Construction in North Cheyenne Cañon
A mitigation project is taking place to reduce damage to High Drive, its drainage system and reduce sediment transport into Bear Creek Watershed. Work will periodically impact access to High Drive, and some daily closures between the Bear Creek and Captain Jacks trails are expected. Closures will be clearly marked onsite. Work is expected to last through early August, weather dependent. The project will not affect access to the portion of High Drive that connects to the Palmer Trail/Section 16 Loop and the Bear Creek Trail.
City and County Parks
  • Playgrounds have reopened with maximum user limit of 25. Signage will be posted at City Parks with capacity recommendation and physical distancing and hygiene reminders.
  • Youth and adult summer sport programs may begin practice June 15 with a maximum of 25 people per team, excluding coaches and referees. The sports office is prepared to support local public health contact tracing efforts if exposures to COVID-19 occur. Spectators are strongly discouraged for adult sports. Parents are permitted to attend youth sporting events as long as members from different households maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from each other.

For more updates visit coloradosprings.gov.

TOSC

SAVE THE DATE
TOSC VIRTUAL TRAIL MIXER
Wed. June 24; 12:00pm – 12:45pm
 
TOSC Members will be invited to join us for our first virtual trail mixer. Hear updates from TOSC Executive Director – Susan Davies – on your favorite TOSC programs. Join the conversation on the latest trail connection projects with the Parks Department Trails Development Director Emily Duncan. And learn how to keep yourself and your pets safe on the trails during rattlesnake season. Invitation forthcoming for all TOSC members. Not a member or has your membership expired? It’s not too late to join or renew, click here!

 

Looking for a park or trail that has fewer people? TOSC is here to help! Visit Get Out Spread Out. We have created 100+ videos throughout the region. Explore virtually, then use our route info to plan your own outing. Please do your part to keep our community healthy by follow physical distancing guidelines while recreating outdoors.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park has 28+ miles of well marked trails, great place for hiking, biking and trail running. This 6.5 mile route follows the Talon Trail to South Talon and loops back on North Talon. Please note that due to abundant wildlife in the area, dogs are not allowed on most of the trails in this park.

Community

Equestrian Skills Course Work Day
Sat. June 13, 9:00 – 12:00 pm
Come on out and help out! The Equestrian Skills Course will have work available for all ages and levels of experience and abilities. Course work will include general maintenance and cleanup as well as continuing to work on the elements of the Flats area. Do you have ideas about what the Switchbacks should include in its features? Come be a part of it! Bring a face mask if you wish to while we work on maintaining the course. Plenty of space to spread out and do what’s needed to be done. For more info visit www.equestrianskillscourse.org or call (719) 748-8543.
Bike to Biz Week June 22 – 28
We are turning Bike To Work Day inside out. We’re changing a one-morning event where businesses gave us free breakfast in large groups, to a weeklong event, where Colorado Springs cyclists supports local business all over our city. All of YOU who’ve helped make Bike to Work Day such a tremendous success can help ensure our businesses are successful through and after the pandemic. Check out Facebook Event.
RMFI – Virtual Stewardship Soiree
Thursday at 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Learn about what Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) has been up to this season and what their future looks like for the remainder of the year, including the status of volunteer days! After the update, stick around to mingle with RMFI staff, fellow volunteers, and community partners. Register here or visit Facebook Event.

Trails and Open Space Coalition

 

Another happy TOSC dog out on the trail. Roxy supports the Trails and Open Space Coalition and you should too! Outdoor recreation is an important part of our Colorado culture, take a stand for the outdoors and become a member of TOSC.

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