News Wednesday Sept 16, 2020

Ute Pass Phase II
The Ute Pass Regional Trail has been a TOSC priority for years. TOSC members and partners have participated in numerous El Paso County Parks planning sessions. Once again, your comments on the “next phase” are needed. The Ute Pass Trail currently runs from the Teller County border to Winnemucca Road in Chipita Park. When completed it will be 11 miles long ending in Manitou Springs. A portion of the RTP Trail is on the Ute Pass Trail.
The next phase will extend the concrete trail from Winnemucca Road to Fountain/US 24 and include a new trailhead. Please check out the concept plans and provide comments by the end of September. Construction for this 1.6 mile stretch will get underway next summer. Funding to finish the trail to Longs Ranch Road has not been secured.
Visit the project webpage to learn more and provide comments.

PARK AND TRAIL News

Paint Mines Update
El Paso County Parks is spending $300,000 in Cares Act funding (COVID) to enhance signage and make other restorative improvements to the Paint Mines. TOSC received reports that the unique rock formations were being damaged in part due to large crowds of users. Unaware of the fragility of the formations, some visitors were climbing on the sandstone and causing it to crumble. The Paint Mines are millions of years old and one of the region’s unique public assets. Work is expected to begin next month to better protect the Paint Mines with trail resurfacing, social trail decommission, new wayfinding signs and expanding the main parking lot.
Pikes Peak Apex Challenge
September 24-27th
Mountain bike racers from around the country will learn first-hand how great our trails are when they compete in the Pikes Peak Apex Challenge. Best of all, the race is providing a $6000 Stewardship Fund that will support much needed trail work in Palmer Park. On Thursday, Sept 24th, Palmer Park will be closed to the public from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. to accommodate racers. The remaining 3 days of racing will not close parks.
To learn more about the Apex races: www.pikespeakapex.com.

TOSC

TOSC 20|20 CHALLENGE
September – Wildflower Park
Wildflower Park is a community gem. It has great playground equipment, sports courts, bathroom and wide open space. There are several neighborhood entry points, and it connects to the Sand Creek Trail; making it extremely easy to access on foot or bike. That is why Wildflower is the park to visit in September! Share a photo from your outing on Facebook or Instagram using #tosc2020challenge for a chance to win an Annual State Parks Pass! Huge thanks to Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park and Cheyenne Mountain State Park for being this month’s sponsors! For more info visit www.trailsandopenspaces.org/2020-parks-challenge/
Urban Trail Challenge
COMING SOON
Friday Sept 25 – Sunday Sept 27
From Wolf Lake to Wildflower Park. From Old Colorado City to the edge of the Rock Island trail. TOSC has created a “DIY” biking event for all riders, challenging participants to explore our local urban trails like never before. And your support allows us to focus on what matters most to us….trails, parks and open spaces!
TOSC has carefully curated nearly 20 diverse and exciting bike routes throughout Colorado Springs that highlight epic views, fascinating points of interest, tidbits of history, intimate neighborhood parks and more! The routes range from family friendly to challenging. There is something for everyone. Throughout the weekend, riders are encouraged to complete challenges for a chance at a grand prize featuring a gift card to Kangaroo Coffee and passes to Cave of the Winds. Support TOSC and your urban trails today and register for the Urban Trail Challenge.
TOSC Creek Week Cleanup!!
Thur. Oct 1 & Fri. Oct 2, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Join the Trails and Open Space Coalition for Creek Week! We plan to get out and spread out to clean up the Shooks Run Trail close to Mid Shooks Run Park. Gloves, bags and a few other supplies will be provided, courtesy of Creek Week. We will be hosting two events: Thursday and Friday 9:00 – 11:00 AM. Please register for one or both days, we will be limiting our group size due to the current pandemic. We will meet outside at the TOSC parking lot. Volunteers will get a free I🧡Parks STICKER!!
SAVE THE DATE
TOSC Member Party 
Saturday Oct 3, 1:30 – 4:00 PM 
Well, we can’t host our normal Annual Member Party this year, but we still want to have the opportunity to thank our members who generously support TOSC’s work. So, we will be hosting a modified event at Shooks Run Park. More details will follow, but for now, mark the date on your calendar.
TOSC Member Hike – Fall Color Photography 
Sunday Oct 4, 8:00 – 11:00 AM
Autumn is just around the corner! We can’t predict what the Fall colors season will be, but we have plans to hike in Mueller State Park on some trails that traditionally offer phenomenal Autumn leaves. The hike will be 2 to 3.5 miles, and easy to moderate in difficulty. Along the way, Bob will offer his tips and tricks on how to best capture memorable photos. Bring along your camera or cell phone, and your imagination.
State Parks Pass is required, Daily Vehicle Pass: $9. (If you do not have a State Parks Pass, you have a chance to win one by participating in TOSC’s 20|20 Parks Challenge! Simply visit Wildflower Park in September and share a picture of your outing on Facebook or Instagram using #tosc2020challenge. Two lucky participants will receive Annual State Parks Passes, courtesy of Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park and CMSP!) Due to Covid we will not be carpooling and masks will be required. 
Please note this hike is for TOSC Members only. Want to become a member? Join Trails and Open Space Coalition by making a donation at www.trailsandopenspaces.org/becomeamember/.
For questions about membership, please email sharie@trailsandopenspaces.org.

Please contact Theresa Odello to register, 719-520-6977 TheresaOdello@elpasoco.com.

You will need to provide your name, email address and a phone number to sign up.  

TOSC Member Hike – Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Thursday Oct 15, 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Autumn is just around the corner! We can’t Join TOSC and the Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park for an easy/moderate hike in this lovely State Park. We will explore part of the Talon Trail to Zook Loop to Blackmer Loop and return to parking lot. Distance is approximately 5 miles; elevation gain is approximately 560 feet. Friends of CMSP Board members will be leading this fantastic history hike. Hopefully we will get to see some beautiful fall colors!  Sign up for TOSC Hike
Please note this hike is for TOSC Members only. Want to become a member? Join Trails and Open Space Coalition by making a donation at www.trailsandopenspaces.org/becomeamember/For questions about membership, please email sharie@trailsandopenspaces.org.

Community

Denver Streets for People Summit
Wed. Sep 16 – Sat Sep 19
The 3rd Annual Denver Streets for People Summit is a locally hosted, globally inspired conference centered on creating safer and more inviting streets and public spaces while reducing car dependency and fighting climate change. Over 4 days of virtual discussion and networking we’ll explore opportunities and resources, consider best practices from around the world and engage decision-makers, implementers and one another towards action that encourages walking, biking, rolling, and taking transit while making Denver’s neighborhoods equitable, healthy and active.
STRATTON OPEN SPACE WORK SESSION
THUR. SEPTEMBER 17, 5:00-7:00 PM
Join the Friends of Stratton Open Space for another Thursday night volunteer work sessions! Meet up location is at the Ridgeway Lot Trailhead @ Stratton Open Space, 1602 Ridgeway. From there we will be dividing up into small teams to accomplish our goals. Please wear closed-toed shoes, bring work gloves, sunscreen, water, snacks and something to cover your mouth and nose with (bandanna, buff, etc.). For more info or questions, please email to Friends of Stratton Open Space: strattonopenspace@gmail.com.
MedWheel Work Day at Palmer Park
Sat. Sept 19th 9:00 – 3:00PM
The trail will have been rough cut during the week before, so the work itself is pretty straightforward – establishing a clean backslope and critical edge, tread compaction, and distribution of cut vegetation. Completing ~1000′ of finishing work; volunteers split into 3 separate groups of 10.  Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates (MWTA) will have a few giveaway items for volunteers! What to Bring: Sturdy boots or shoes, mask or buff, rain jacket, long pants, work gloves, sunglasses/eye protection, sunscreen, hat, water and snacks (lunch if you are planning to work the whole time)
Bicycle-Friendly Driver Training
Wed. Sept 23, 11:00 – 12:15PM
Help make Colorado’s roads safer for everyone! Learn the laws and safe practices for both road users, how to navigate on-street bicycle infrastructure and how to avoid common crashes between drivers and bicyclists. After the webinar, participants will complete an exam and those who pass will be emailed a certificate to demonstrate their new knowledge.Our laws, infrastructure and people on the road are constantly changing. All levels of drivers (and bicyclists!) will benefit from reviewing laws, rights, responsibilities and how to navigate around other road users. Register for FREE thanks to New Belgium Brewing.
Creek Week September 26 – October 4th
The Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District and its many community partners are looking forward to the 7th Annual Creek Week Cleanup! Creek Week is a safe, fun, and rewarding outdoor volunteer opportunity. Due to COVID19, small group cleanups (less than 25 volunteers) are recommended. Participants are asked to wear proper personal protective equipment, including gloves and a mask, practice social distancing, and follow mandates provided by local and state health agencies at the time of the cleanup.
Firewood Sale
Sat. Oct 3rd & Sun. Oct 4th, 10:00 – 4:00 PM
The Friends of Mueller State Park are sponsoring a firewood sale!  Forest thinning to reduce wildfire threat and improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and power line maintenance, have created stacks of wood that need to go. The wood is unsplit, mixed dry and green, cut to 12” to 24” lengths.  $40 for short bed pickups, $50 for long beds. Loaded by you, and sorry, no trailers.
Learn more at friendsofmuellersp.com or contact friendsofmuellerSP@gmail.com.

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