News Wednesday Aug 19, 2020

Air Quality Conditions
As Colorado battles forest fires, we want to remind everyone to be aware of the air quality and use your best judgement when deciding to exercise outdoors.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Recommendations: If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill. If visibility is less than 5 miles in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.
 
You can find information about air quality conditions at the links below.
El Paso County Staff Achievement Award
TOSC congratulates Ross Williams who won the 2020 El Paso County Staff Achievement Award for his work on the Pineries Open Space. Ross has managed many projects for EPC Parks. He’s very proud of this one. If you haven’t checked out the Pineries in Black Forest – do!
We’re lucky to have so many committed and talented parks staff working for the county, city, state and USFS. Ross is one of the best!

PARK AND TRAIL UPDATES

Midland Trail Closure
A part of the Midland Trail is currently closed for a stormwater project. A retention pond is under construction. This portion of the project should be completed by the end of the month. There is a detour (rough gravel) from Midland Trail to Ridge Road that may be accessible when Ridge Road is open. However, construction may limit access to Ridge Road, so trail users will need to divert from the trail at 31st Street.
In Search of Water
As you look for places to Get Out and Spread Out, local splash pads and fountains may NOT be a great choice. You’ll find most quite crowded on these hot, dry days.
Consider these creeks to play in: North Cheyenne Canon has a creek running through it. Come early, park at the Starsmore Visitor Center and your kids can play in the creek near the building. Bear Creek Regional Park: If you park near the organic garden the trail and creek are directly east of the garden. Palmer Lake does not allow swimming, but sitting and walking along the water’s edge is a great way to beat the heat. The reservoirs above the town offer the same respite. Note that parking is currently limited to Palmer Park residents only. You can park in one of the county lots surrounding the lake and walk to the trailhead. Manitou Springs has Soda Springs Park adjacent Fountain Creek. Prospect Lake in Memorial Park remains closed to swimming and non-motorized boating due to high levels of blue-green algae.
Incline Update
We continue to get questions about the new reservation system. Here’s the latest information: The number of reservations increases this Thursday from 35 to 45 per half hour. Parks Staff tells us the “no-show” rate is 20-25%. That means if you don’t get a reservation, there is a chance you’ll get to register at the trailhead and hike the Incline. Parking is only available at Iron Chateau (reservation recommended) or at Hiawatha Gardens (becoming a pay lot soon.) The shuttle will resume later this month. Barr Lot is off limits to Incline users at this time. Be sure to bring proof of parking with you to the trailhead. If you are dropped off or walked up – just let them know. The Incline will be closed this Sunday for the Pikes Peak Marathon. The new northern cutoff trail connecting to Ute Regional Trail is nearly finished and will open soon.

PikeRide partnered with Pikes Peak National Bank to bring bike share to Old Colorado City!

PikeRide has installed a bike share station at the newly renovated Bancroft Park. This expansion is the latest in a continuing evolution of the bike share program. PikeRide has seen a 69% increase in ridership since COVID-19 arrived.

TOSC

Photo Contest Winners

Congrats to our winners and a big thank you to everyone that summited photos and shared their stories with us!

 
KIDS
Winner:  Chilling by the River
 
Runner Up: Simple Adventures

 
PETS
Winner: Zebulon the Cat at Fox Run Park
 
Runner Up: Hike On Barr Trail

 
ADVENTURE
Winner: Paint Mines
 
Runner Up: Almagre’s North Ridge
Virtual Trail Mixer 
Thursday August 27, 5:30 – 6:30pm

 
Our City’s Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) program expires in 2025. Without TOPS there would be no Red Rock Open Space, Stratton Open Space, America the Beautiful Park, Cheyenne Mountain State Park… It’s a long list! What is TOSC doing to make sure TOPS is extended and expanded? Join us next Thursday and find out!
 
 

 
 
Ring the Peak Trail will one day stretch around America’s Mountain. Learn what the next segment of trail could look like – extending the trail from Pancake Rocks!
 
 
 
 
El Paso County has an impressive “To-Do” list for 2021. Santa Fe Open Space trails, Falcon Regional Park Phase 2, Fox Run Regional Park playground makeover, Bear Creek Regional Park improvements…. Be some of the first to find out which county parks will see changes in 2021.
 
 
Invitations sent to all TOSC members. If you have not received your invitation, contact beth@trailsandopenspaces.org
Not a member yet?  Click here to join the Coalition.
2020 TWO SHOES VIRTUAL RACE
Two Shoes Trek Challenge
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!
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

RMFI Training in North Cheyenne Cañon Park
Sat Aug. 22 & Sun Aug. 23
This training is for the crew leaders, volunteers, and members of the Friends of Cheyenne Cañon. And we are opening up this opportunity to all active crew leaders! Throughout this training weekend, participants will learn about rockwork. Please contact elise@rmfi.org, if you are interested in participating in this training and if you are able to attend both days.
Family Cornhole Tournament
Saturday, August 29, 10:00 AM Fountain Creek Regional Park
 
Come to Fountain Creek Regional Park to try your hand at Cornhole! This tournament is a family focused event and is good for all ages. Bring the family and a picnic to enjoy a day at the park. This event is sponsored by Chick-fil-A in Fountain, and all proceeds go to Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers, a 501c3 that supports environmental education programs in El Paso County. Masks are required and social distancing tournament rules will be provided via email to all registered participants. Pre-registration required ($10 – $20 per team).
More info on Facebook.
Virtual 5K Run/Walk: “Run Up to Creek Week”
Plan your own 5K running/walking route, support Creek Week, and get cool stuff! A virtual 5K fundraiser will take place Sept. 4-14. Participants receive a unique recycled circuit board Finisher’s medal, a buff, a racing bib, 2 trash bags, coupons for discounts at four Brewshed Alliance breweries, and a Creek Week button. A raffle drawing for a $100 gift card will go to those who submit pictures of them running, walking, plogging (jogging and picking up litter) or an activity device screen shot.
Limit 150 people. Click here to register!
 WHERE CAN YOU SAFELY PARK YOUR BIKE IN COLORADO SPRINGS?
For bicycles to be accepted and appealing as a tool for transportation, bicycle parking needs to be easy, convenient, secure and functional. Bike Colorado Springs (BCS) has put together a resource to help you know where to park, how to park and the best type of bike parking in our community.

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