News Wednesday Oct 7, 2020

U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum Bridge
It was with great excitement (and a smaller, Covid-compliant audience) that the iconic bridge was wheeled across the main-line freight tracks. It was a coordinated effort involving over 100 wheels and a well-choreographed ground crew that rivaled a Broadway production. This long-anticipated bridge will provide a pedestrian, bicycle and ADA accessible connection between America the Beautiful Park, the new U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and the incredibly modern streetscape of West Vermijo Avenue. It is a key element of the redevelopment taking place in Southwest Downtown Colorado Springs. Work will soon begin on the landing, elevator and other amenities on the western end of the bridge. The City anticipates it being open for use by Spring of 2021. This bridge will provide connectivity to the Pikes Peak Greenway and Midland Trails with users flowing through the gateway created to connect to additional pedestrian improvements and on-street bike lanes that are all part of an expanding non-motorized network servicing this up and coming area of downtown.
 
“A bridge to Colorado Springs’ future” – Mayor John Suthers
Creek Week Highlights

Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District hosted the 7th Annual Creek Week Cleanup. Like most events Creek Week was a little different this year, but even though groups were smaller this watershed cleanup had a big impact! 1800 volunteers participated in 86 cleanups over the course of 9 days. Sondermann Park hosted three workdays, LOTS of invasive trees were removed. Pueblo Boys and Girls Club had a Fishing Derby for 27 youth. Manitou Springs Elementary School held a Storm Drain Art Contest. TOSC lead 3 volunteer crews and collected 32 bags of trash from Shooks Run and Rock Island Trails. The strangest items found this year: suitcase, dentures, and hood to a smart car. Most common items found during TOSC’s cleanups: cigarette butts and plastic bags.

“Picking up trash I quickly realized how easily our waterways can be polluted and why it is so important to regularly work to keep them open and clean,”   – volunteer

Be sure to check out “art constructed of trash” gathered during Creek Week located just south of I-25 and Cimarron St. at Berm. Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance working with the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District Creek Week and the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region organized the Pikes Peak Litter Letter Project. Concrete Couch constructed the letters. Volunteers collected the trash from public lands and waterways. This years’ word appropriately enough is “resilient.” It will be on display through the end of October.

PARK AND TRAIL News

Temporary Closure at RRCOS
Oct 6 – Oct 13
Trail work in Red Rock Canyon Open Space will temporarily close a section of the Intemann Trail between the Waterfall Trail and the Section 16 Connector Trail. Work is expected to last for one week and will close the indicated section of Intemann Trail from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. If work is not completed by Friday, the trail will still be open on the weekend. Rocky Mountain Field Institute will be repairing retaining walls along this section.
 
Please refer to the map for the work site location (red line) and a suggested detour (orange line). The detour is roughly 3.3 miles.
Thorndale Park
TOSC and Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) teamed up to give Thorndale Park some TLC. We had a blast painting and got a lot of positive feedback from people eager to use the revitalized basketball court. THANK YOU to everyone that donated to make this community project possible! We also want to thank the City of Colorado Springs for supporting and contributing to this project.
Go check it out #tosc2020challenge
Stratton Open Space
Located in southwestern Colorado Springs near the Cheyenne Canyon Neighborhood, Stratton Open Space is consistently one of the busiest open spaces in the region. Luckily, this park has a small yet mighty friends group. The Friends of Stratton Open Space are known for fantastic trail maintenance and a wildly successful speaker series in 2019. This fall, the Friends of Stratton Open Space and the City of Colorado Springs are teaming up to host volunteer workdays on October 15th, October 29th and on November 12th. Aside from volunteer projects going on in Stratton Open Space, there has been contracted work done recently on the Stratton Springs Path. Coming up this winter, the Ridge Trail will receive maintenance work and the Upper Meadows Loop will undergo some re-routing. There are also plans to put in a new sign that honors the individuals who made contributions to purchase the park before deeding the land to the City. Learn more about the Friends of Stratton Open Space or register for Volunteer Workdays.

TOSC

TOSC 20|20 Challenge
Cheyenne Mountain State Park is the park to visit in October. Share a photo from your trip on Facebook or Instagram using #tosc2020challenge for a chance to win an Osprey pack! While you are there, stop by the Visitor Center and mention that you are participating in the TOSC 20|20 Challenge to get a free Pocket Pals Trail Map, courtesy of Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park (while supplies last).
Get more info about TOSC’s 20|20 Parks Challenge.
Homestead Ranch 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.  
A good opportunity to check another park off the list for tosc2020challenge!
TOSC Member Hike – CMSP 
Thursday Oct 15, 9:00 – 12:00 PM
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!
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.
Member Celebration
This has been a tough year for non-profits. But thanks to the unwavering support of our members, TOSC was not only able to continue leading some of our community’s favorite projects (Ring the Peak, Friends Groups, Advocacy), we were able to launch several new projects in response to Covid-19 (Get Out Spread Out, Trail Ambassador Program).
We had the opportunity to thank many members that met us at the park for our revised outdoor member celebration, which incorporated our beloved Mobile Music Project! A huge thanks to Spur (Jerry Cordova and Travis Duncan) and Cheyenne Mountain State Park for being there!

Community

MWTA Trail Love @ RRCOS
Rescheduled Saturday, Oct 10, 9:00 – 1:00 PM
Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates (MWTA) will be working on the Upper Codell Trail in Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Come help improve two switchbacks that have significantly eroded. Looking for strong volunteers who can move rocks. Meet at the 26th St parking lot at 8:45am and wear a mask.
2021 Calendar Contest
 Submissions Accepted Through Oct 16
 
Celebrating the City’s Sesquicentennial. Visit the website for rules and info about submitting photos:
Celebration of the Pikes Peak Multi-Use Plan
Thurs. Oct 22, 10:00 – 12:00 PM
Please join El Pomar Foundation for a virtual conversation to discuss the influence of the 1999 Pikes Peak Multi-Use Plan and the potential next steps in management and protection of the Pikes Peak region. This Zoom webinar will feature an overview of the plan followed by a discussion among local experts in the arenas of recreation and conservation. Panelists: Susan Davies – Executive Director, Trails and Open Space Coalition, Jeff Hovermale – Lands, Special Uses and Minerals Staff Officer, U.S. Forest Service, Dave Leinweber – General Manager, Angler’s Covey Inc. and Founder & Chair, Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance, Oscar Martinez – District Ranger, U.S. Forest Service, Mark Shea – Watershed Planning Supervisor, Colorado Springs Utilities.

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