News Wednesday Aug 5, 2020

REopening the Incline
For nearly 5 months the Incline has been officially closed to users. TOSC has advocated for its reopening. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) proposing a reservation system was presented to Manitou Springs City Council last night. They voted to approve the MOU between the City of Manitou and Colorado Springs. The Incline will reopen and allow 35 Incline users every 30 minutes between the hours of 6:00 am and 6:00 pm for the first two weeks of operation, increasing to 45 users every half hour. COS will manage the reservation system and provide attendants at the base of the Incline. This MOU will be in effect indefinitely until the two cities come to a new agreement.
TOSC has some misgivings regarding the terms of the agreement – particularly regarding “trespass citations.” Nevertheless, we support the immediate re-opening of the Incline and this appears to be the best way forward. You may make a reservation up to 7 days in advance, here is the link to the reservation system. Plan parking before you go. 
Green Mountain Falls Trail Ambassador Program

Given a choice between closing trails and trailheads, or supporting GMF by developing a Trail Ambassador Program – there was no other choice. GMF has seen a significant increase in trail usage over the past couple of months. As a result, parking, congestion and trash along roads and trails have become community concerns. TOSC has offered to help create a Trail Ambassador program but we need your help. Volunteers will receive training and offer useful information to trail users. Help us keep trails and trailheads throughout the region open! For more information contact aaron@trailsandopenspaces.org.

2020 TWO SHOES VIRTUAL RACE
Pikes Peak Road Runners (PPRR) and the Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) are proud to present a new virtual running event. Be a part of Two Shoes Trek Challenge! This event showcases several county and city trails throughout our unique and beautiful city. All proceeds from this event will go directly back into the Colorado Springs community to support our parks and trails. This will help both organizations thrive through this challenging and uncertain period; as the impact of the pandemic has hit nonprofit organizations especially hard. Please join us for this fun community driven virtual event!

PARK AND TRAIL UPDATES

Palmer-Mesa Trail Closure Aug 3 – Sept 30
The City Parks Department began work on the Palmer-Mesa Trail on Monday, Aug. 3. Deteriorating asphalt will be replaced with a 10-foot wide concrete trail. The trail segment, located parallel to 30th Street, will be closed for the duration of the project, which is expected to last through September. Due to site constraints, there is currently no detour available. However, the Foothills Trail and Blair Bridge Open Space will remain open. Learn more.
Construction on Rock Island Regional Trail

El Paso County Parks’ section of the Rock Island Regional Trail runs parallel to US Hwy 24 between the towns of Falcon and Peyton. Starting Monday, July 27th a construction project will begin at Rock Island Trailhead, extending through August 10th. The area will be closed to the public on Aug. 3 – 7th for parking lot resurfacing. If you have any questions please contact El Paso County Parks 719-520-7529. Learn more.
Catamount Trail Closure Aug 4 – Sept 1
Access to Catamount Trail will be closed to hikers starting at Hondo Avenue. Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) needs to operate heavy equipment to perform routine maintenance on a water tank that serves Green Mountain Falls. Alternative access to the Catamount Trail may be available via Belvedere Avenue, which becomes very steep. It might be best to choose another route or trail during this maintenance work. CSU and the Town of Green Mountain Falls are working to minimize the impact on residents and guests; this project is estimated to take 4 weeks to complete. Find more info on our blog.
Pike National Forest Faces Challenges
The pandemic has changed recreational options, campsites are at a premium, plus there has been a huge influx of out of state visitors. The USFS is seeing the impact of increased usage. Challenged by limited staff, we all need to do our part to help protect Pike National Forest. Be sure to follow the Leave No Trace principles. Recreational shooting in unauthorized areas (Rampart Range is permanently closed to shooting), abandoned vehicles, illegal fires, and improper trash disposal are monumental concerns for forest staff. If you see illegal activity, note the location, take pictures, and report it to the ranger office: 719-553-1400

TOSC

20|20 Parks Challenge
TOSC has selected 20 Parks we think everyone should visit in 2020. This month we are highlighting Palmer Park. This park was donated to our city by General Palmer in 1899. At 730.7 acres in size, the park contains incredible rock formations and fantastic views of Pikes Peak. Palmer Park boasts over 25 miles of multi-use trails with amenities ideal for all kinds of outdoor recreation! Preview Templeton Trail.

 
Find new places to explore! Visit Get Out – Spread Out.
Members Only Bike Ride – The Pineries 
Fri. August 14, 8:00 – 11:00 AM
TOSC is excited to gather with a small group of members to explore the region’s newest open space – the Pineries. One of the best ways to experience this majestic 9 mile loop is with a bicycle! Join Allen Beauchamp for a easy and enjoyable ride on flowing single track. In accordance with current state health regulations, each group will be limited to 10 participants – plus the trail leader. Social distancing and masks will be required.
 
Please note this event is for TOSC Members only. Want to become a member? Join the Trails and Open Space Coalition by making a donation online. For questions about membership, please email Sharie@trailsandopenspaces.org.
SAVE THE DATE for TOSC Member Trail Mixer 
Thursday August 27, 5:30 – 6:30pm

-Where does the Ring the Peak Trail Project stand?
-Update on County Parks Projects
-TOPS (Trails Open Spaces Parks) tax – It’s expiring soon! What’s the plan?
 
Invitation will be emailed directly to members.
Not a member yet?  Click here to join the Coalition.
Urban Trail Challenge
Friday Sept 25 – Sunday Sept 27
Join TOSC for the most spectacular virtual biking event in Colorado Springs – The Urban Trail Challenge! All riders will receive an event bib and commemorative buff, so you can identify participants out on the trail. Cruise your favorite trail or explore one of the routes TOSC created to showcase local trail connections and parks across the region. Along the way, riders will have the option to complete different “selfie challenges” ranging from finding hidden landmarks, riding in costumes and visiting as many parks and trails as you can during the 3 day event! Are you up for the challenge?

Community

Resiliency of our Outdoor Recreation Industry
Thursday Aug. 6, 11:30 – 12:30 pm
Curious how the pandemic is impacting our region’s sports and outdoor recreation industry? Join Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC for virtual update. Hear from Anglers Covey, Mountain Chalet, Pikes Peak Apex, Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance, and Routes Outfitter.
Art on the Streets Launch 2020
Friday Aug. 7, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Get to know the new Art on the Streets public art exhibit through a passport-guided scavenger hunt or a self-guided tour. There will be live performances, many artists will be on site to share about their work, and each location will have fun surprises. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. Tickets are $10 per person for passport and goodies.
The Pikes Peak Region’s Outdoor Recreation: At Risk or Resilient?
An honest conversation of today’s realities leading to solutions for the future
Tuesday August 11th and Thursday, August 20th 9:00-10:30 AM
The challenges facing the Pikes Peak region’s outdoor recreation and natural places have been magnified and become even more urgent with the pandemic. Although we have come together as a community in the past and made progress that has brought us to today, significant concerns face our future. PPORA has brought together a fantastic lineup of speakers who will give us a frank assessment of the region’s challenges, as well as some potential solutions and success stories from other communities.
The future of our majestic landscapes and recreational assets matter to all of us who call this region home – for our quality of life, economic vitality, and our health and wellbeing as so many have come to realize during this pandemic.
To learn more and register for the FREE event, go to ppora.org.
Sand Creek Clean-up Project
Saturday Aug. 15, 12:00 pm
Gather at The Community in Astrozon Plaza (3750 Astrozon Blvd) then head down to the Sand Creek Trail to pick up trash. It’s time to do our part and clean the community where we live and commute. Join RISE Southeast and D&Js for this monthly cleanup! More info on Facebook.

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