News Wednesday June 17, 2020

Happy Father's Day

 
Kudos to all the great dads out there! We are sad that we are unable to host the Starlight Spectacular this year. We know it has become a grand tradition for many families. Hopefully you are able to craft your own adventure this year and we can all come together to celebrate next year.
 
The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories. 
— Og Mandino
The Pineries is Finally Opening!

Pineries Open Space will be open to the public the morning of Saturday, June 27th! The Pineries is El Paso County’s newest and 2nd largest Open Space; it boasts 1070 acres with 8.5 miles of trail. Trailhead parking lot for cars and horse trailers is located at the NE intersection Vollmer and Shoup Roads in Black Forest. The property is under a conservation easement designed to preserve the land in its natural state. The area contains rare and unique plants as well as a mature Ponderosa Pine forest that is classified as old growth. 

PARK AND TRAIL UPDATES

Austin Bluff Master Plan Approved
Colorado Springs Parks Advisory Board approved master plans for Austin Bluffs Open Space and the “downtown parks” – Antlers, Acacia and Alamo Square (Pioneers Museum grounds). Thanks to all of you who participated in those planning processes. These are great plans that will improve recreational opportunities in our community! 2 million dollars of the 2B initiative will begin to fund the many renovations in the downtown parks. Austin Bluffs Open Space trail improvements will occur when funding is secured. View Master Plan.

 
Monument Valley Park Project Update
Improvements to Monument Valley park were on the list of 2B projects and some of that work is underway. Repairing a portion of the park’s ancient irrigation system, refilling one of the ponds and adding lights to the pickleball courts will all be completed by the end of the year. The lights are now in place and will allow players to play after sunset, cut down on wait times and make it easy to run tournaments in the park (when tournaments are again allowed.)
Jones Park Master Plan

Jones Park is not a park in the way most of us “picture parks.” No playgrounds or ballfields, Jones Park is really an open space with trails located south of Pikes Peak. 1200 acres of forests, high mountain meadows and Bear Creek meandering through the now county property. Not easily accessible, Jones park is undergoing a master plan process. At this time, the draft plan is being examined by stakeholders. A public comment period will follow. Once completed, the plan with new trail alignments will be executed as funding allows. Learn more at communityservices.elpasoco.com
Prospect Lake Closure
The City of Colorado Springs has closed Prospect Lake in Memorial Park, effective Monday, June 15, until further notice due to the presumed return of toxic algae. The closure follows a visual inspection by Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services staff. A precautionary water sample was taken on Tuesday, June 16 to confirm the presence of blue-green algae. If the water sample returns positive, the lake will be tested weekly until the bacteria clears up.
During the closure, the following activities are prohibited: swimming, bathing, paddle boarding, tubing, water skiing and non-motorized boating of any kind. No pets are allowed. The use of permitted motorized boats is encouraged as this activity can help aerate the water. Fishing areas will remain open, though anglers are urged to clean fish well and remove guts.
Incline Update
Our most frequent question these days here at TOSC: “is the Incline open?” The answer is no. Nor do we know when it will open. Last week Colorado Springs Parks staff presented a proposal to Manitou Springs City Council that was shot down. The plan would require COS parks staff to create and manage a reservation system allowing 45 Incline users every 30 minutes to improve safety. The plan did not include a fee for users – a change supported by some members of Manitou Springs City Council.
What’s next? Talks between the two communities will continue. When a decision is made, we’ll bring you an update.

TOSC

SAVE THE DATE

VIRTUAL TRAIL MIXER
Wed. June 24, 12:00pm – 12:45pm
TOSC Members, you should have received an email yesterday inviting you to join us for our first Virtual Trail Mixer. Get updates on your favorite TOSC programs from Executive Director, Susan Davies. Hear the latest news on trail connection projects from Parks Department Trails Development Director, Emily Duncan. And learn how to keep yourself and your pets safe on the trails during rattlesnake season. Questions? please contact beth@trailsandopenspaces.org.
TOSC 20|20 Challenge

Our 20|20 Parks Challenge is back! TOSC has selected 20 different parks for you to visit in 2020. Each month we will feature a different park, tag us in a photo from your trip to get entered to win prizes from our fantastic sponsors! Help us track how many parks you have visited, in your post state x/20. Visit Monument Valley Park in June, post a photo from your outing on Facebook or Instagram using #tosc2020challenge for a chance to win gift cards from Streetcar 520! You can also tag Friends of Monument Valley park for more chances to win another prize #friendsofmvp.cos.

 

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.

As with many urban trails, sections of Shooks Run can get congested during peak times. We recommend checking out this walk in the morning. You will be rewarded with a whimsical walk through a warm and welcoming neighborhood, where most users practice responsible physical distancing practices. Please note Shooks Run Trail is currently under construction from Unitah to Columbia.
Thank you to Good Neighbors Meeting House for Sponsoring
TOSC – Get Out Spread Out!

Community

FMVP Photography Contest June 1st – June 30th
Monument Valley Park is full of colorful flowers right now. Submit your favorite family-friendly photo taken in Monument Valley Park to Friends of Monument Valley Park’s Facebook page or tag @friendsofmvp.cos on Instagram. The winning photographer will receive a gift certificate to a local restaurant! Tag TOSC for another chance to win prizes #tosc2020challenge.
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.
Weigh in on Roadway Calming and Bicycle Improvements
The City of Colorado Springs is proposing improvements to transportation and neighborhood vitality by extending the existing bike lanes along portions of Chelton Road and Jet Wing Drive and creating bike lanes on a portion of Hancock Expressway. These roads have been identified in the City Bike Master Plan as key bicycle corridors. The City has studied how bicycle infrastructure might be added to provide bicycle connections to key destinations and improve safety in the southeast area of Colorado Springs. This effort would create dedicated space and more predictability for people on foot, on bikes and in cars.
For the safety of our community during this COVID-19 pandemic the City is hosting two free virtual public meetings through Microsoft Teams: Tues. June 30, 6 – 7 p.m. and Tues. July 14, 6 – 7 p.m.
CLICK HERE for Digital Public Meeting links.
With more people using bikes for their commute and for outdoor recreation, improvements are being considered along roads in the Southeast area of Colorado Springs. The City is asking for your feedback to ensure changes meet the needs of the community. Following the digital meeting you will be asked to provide input through a simple series of survey questions. You are encouraged to review the presentation that will be posted to the City project webpage the day of the digital public meeting at ColoradoSprings.gov/SaferRoadsSoutheast.

Trails and Open Space Coalition

“Getting out the door with kids can be tough, and a little hectic. But recently, my family has benefitted from all of the trails and parks we have nearby for our physical and mental well-being. We use the TOSC #getoutspreadout information to help us find less crowded outdoor family friendly adventures. This is a valuable resource, so we recently joined the Trails and Open Spaces Coalition as members, because we want to support the things we care about the most.” -Sarah DiPasquale

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