News Wednesday Sept 30, 2020

E-Bikes
The pandemic is forcing people to explore alternative forms of exercise and recreation. Perhaps not a coincidence, e-bikes sales continue to climb. 130 million e-bikes are expected to be sold in this country between now and 2023. Class 1 e-bikes are currently allowed on Colorado Springs Tier 1 and Tier 2 Trails. Those are our concrete system trails like the Pikes Peak Greenway, Midland, Sinton, Cottonwood Creek, Sand Creek, Rock Island, Foothills etc.
El Paso County Parks allow class 1 and class 2 e-bikes on their main trails like New Santa Fe, Fountain Creek Regional and Bear Creek Regional trail.
Currently e-bikes are not allowed on soft surface trails within our city and county parks or open spaces. Discussions will soon resume looking at allowing e-mountain bikes on trails in regional parks and open space within the city of Colorado Springs. The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on the topic before the end of the year. Using that input, parks staff will make a recommendation to COS Parks Advisory Board for a final decision.
 
Pike National Forest currently does not allow e-bikes on their forest trails, but is considering a change to their policy. Through October 26, 2020 the USFS is looking for public comment on allowing e-bikes on forest service trails.
To comment and learn more, please visit www.federalregister.gov
TOSC MEMBER HIKES
We love being able to hike with our members. Our hikes are curated with our members in mind – where can we take you that you might not otherwise have access? How can we show you a popular spot in a new way? Below are some upcoming member hikes that still have room.
Homestead Ranch Regional Park Hike
Saturday Oct 10, 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Join TOSC and El Paso County Parks for a hike through Homestead Ranch. Located at the edge of Black Forest, this 450-acre park has rolling hills, open meadows, thick forest and a lovely pond. Pre-registration required! Please contact Theresa to register, 719-520-6977 or TheresaOdello@elpasoco.com. You will need to provide your name, email address and a phone number to sign up; free for TOSC and Nature Center Members, $4 per non-member.  
This is a good opportunity to check another park off for #tosc2020challenge!
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.

PARK AND TRAIL News

Garden of the Gods Flood Mitigation Facility
Work to construct a large stormwater detention and sediment collection facility in the far northeastern portion of Garden of the Gods Park started June 2019, and is now complete! The facility will serve to protect Garden of the Gods Park, Rock Ledge Ranch and downstream neighborhoods by significantly reducing the risk of flooding along Camp Creek downstream of the site in large storm events. Preserving the park’s iconic view while protecting it and downstream communities from flooding is a key goal, the project will blend into the natural environment. Nearly all of the dam will be covered with soil and planted with native grasses and shrubs similar to the existing vegetation on the site. The Foothills Trail has been reconstructed along the eastern side of the project area and the connection to the Dakota Trail over the project dam has been restored. Learn more at coloradosprings.gov.
NEW TOPS Property The City of Colorado Springs has purchased 315 acres of open space near the Cedar Heights and Oak Valley Ranch neighborhoods, located on the city’s western edge. Purchased with Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) sales tax revenue, these areas were identified in the 2014 Park System Master Plan as candidate properties to add to the City’s open space system. In coming years, the properties will undergo separate master planning processes with opportunities for public input on future use and development. The Black Canyon Quarry property offers future potential to provide trail access to the Pike National Forest’s Waldo Canyon area.
North Cheyenne Cañon Visitor Centers
Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center and Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center in North Cheyenne Cañon Park are closing for the season on September 30th.

TOSC

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 
Invitations with event details have been emailed to all members and we are looking forward to seeing many of you!  If you did not receive your invitation, please contact Beth at beth@trailsandopenspaces.org.
Thorndale Park Painting Party 
Sunday Oct 4, 10:00 – 2:00 PM
We were so thrilled at how the community came together for parks last summer; now, we’re going to spruce up Thorndale Park! THANK YOU to everyone that donated to our fundraiser to make this volunteer project possible! The Organization of Westside Neighbors & Trails and Open Space Coalition will be hosting a paint party for the basketball court in Thorndale Park. Swing by, meet your neighbors & make a difference in our community. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Allen@trailsandopenspaces.org. Due to Covid group size will be limited and social distancing protocols will be followed. View Facebook Event.
Urban Trail Challenge by the Numbers
Did you ride in the Urban Trail Challenge this past weekend? Scores of riders supported the Trails and Open Space Coalition by taking to the trails to explore their community while completing challenges along the way. Here is a look at some of the special numbers from the weekend…
-104 Riders from 6 different cities and 2 different states rode in the Urban Trail Challenge.
-Over 1,000 miles were covered by the riders who reported in.
– 3 riders did more than 50 miles and one person completed over 100 miles.
-The most popular route people explored was the Legacy Loop; however, the Sand Creek trail in the Southeast was not far behind.
-The oldest rider was 79 while the youngest rider was 18 months old.
-Over 60 people completed challenges. Several people completed every challenge.
– 28 riders took a picture of the same fat squirrel near the Wildflower Park bridge.
– 5 riders did all the challenges at night, including lighting up their bikes.
– 2 riders found a dinosaur while one rider used watercolors to paint a masterpiece of a Downtown bridge.
– “I thought I knew my neighborhood, but I discovered a whole new world thanks to the Urban Trail Challenge.” -comment left on Facebook.
 
Thank you to the Criterium Bike Shop and countless other community organizations and businesses that made this event so memorable.
 
Grand Prize Winner will be announced on Friday!!
 
Fossil “TRAIL BLAZER” Brew Release
Wednesday Oct 21, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Fossil Craft Brew Company: 2845 Ore Mill Road
 
Support the Trails and Open Space Coalition while enjoying Fossil’s latest brew – “Trail Blazer”. Yes, TOSC staff was on site brewing the beer, so we can guarantee it’s been made with extra love and care. For every Trail Blazer beer sold, Fossil will make a donation to TOSC. Come join our staff and Fossil owner – Josh – for the release of this custom, sure-to-please brew! Tango Springs food truck will be on site with pizza and empanadas, so come hungry. Can’t make the event? That’s o.k. You can come pick up a crowler at Fossil- while supplies last!

Community

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.
Palmer Park Work Day
Sat. Oct 3, 8:00 – 12:00 PM
The Guardians of Palmer Park invite you to help care for Palmer Park by volunteering this Saturday, October 3! We are looking for a few good volunteers to help us. Due to COVID-19, participation will be limited and social distancing protocols will be in place.
  • Group 1 will be doing mitigation work along Lazy Land Road. It will meet in the parking lot at the end of the Lazy Land road. Please Pre-register here.
  • Group 2 will do trash pickup throughout the park. It will meet at the Maizeland Parking Lot near the storage container next to the baseball field. Pre-register for Group 2.
  • Group 3 will pick up dog waste and any other trash that may be found on the Yucca/Mesa trails (the dog off-leash areas). It will meet at the Yucca Area / Ute Crest, parking lot. Pre-register for Group 3.
2021 Calendar Contest
 Submissions Accepted Through Oct 16
 
Celebrating the City’s Sesquicentennial. Visit the website for rules and info about submitting photos:

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