News Wednesday Oct 28, 2020

Vote!
For those of you who still haven’t voted, here is a reminder of recommendations made by the TOSC Board of Directors:
2A – Vote Yes. It will allow the city to retain TABOR dollars for much needed services and will also allow a readjustment of the TABOR Cap which means the city’s general fund recovers faster and cuts to parks are less.
2B – Vote Yes or Abstain. This initiative requires a popular vote for future park land exchanges of a certain size. By a narrow majority, the TOSC Board preferred the 2C option requiring a supermajority of City Council to vote yes.
2C – Vote Yes. This initiative still raises the bar for future park land exchanges, but allows park staff to bring forward sometimes complex exchange opportunities that benefit the park system without potentially requiring an expensive public vote. A supermajority of 7 council members must vote yes for the park land exchange to occur.
For those of you who still haven’t voted, here is a reminder of recommendations made by the TOSC Board of Directors:
2A – Vote Yes. It will allow the city to retain TABOR dollars for much needed services and will also allow a readjustment of the TABOR Cap which means the city’s general fund recovers faster and cuts to parks are less.
2B – Vote Yes or Abstain. This initiative requires a popular vote for future park land exchanges of a certain size. By a narrow majority, the TOSC Board preferred the 2C option requiring a supermajority of City Council to vote yes.
2C – Vote Yes. This initiative still raises the bar for future park land exchanges, but allows park staff to bring forward sometimes complex exchange opportunities that benefit the park system without potentially requiring an expensive public vote. A supermajority of 7 council members must vote yes for the park land exchange to occur.
Parks Budget Update – El Paso County
Members will ask us: “What can we do?” Sometimes the answer is to join a friends group and lend a helping hand. Other times (like now) the answer is: make your voice heard. The El Paso County Board of Commissioners will soon vote on the 2021 Budget. Each department head gets the chance to “make their case” before they vote.
EPC Parks Director Tim Wolken spoke last week. He reminded the Board that next year the county park system will be 50 years old. Certainly something to celebrate! A proper present would be more funding.
Some of the park irrigation systems and playgrounds are 30-40 years old and need to be replaced. Replacement parts are nearly impossible to find because they are so old.
 
One reason county parks are cash-poor – what each of us pay in taxes to support our county parks is considerably less today than it was back in 2003. Just under $3/per person per year! And yet we have more miles of trails and more acres of parks and open space (as we should….we have more people) than we did in 2003.
Email or call your county commissioner and let them know that you use county parks, trails and nature centers and ask them to provide more funding in 2021 for parks. We’ll let you know if they listen – and thanks!
 
District 1 Holly Williams (719) 520-6411, HollyWilliams@elpasoco.com
District 2 Mark Waller (719) 520-6411, MarkWaller@elpasoco.com
District 3 Stan VanderWerf (719) 520-6413, StanVanderWerf@elpasoco.com
District 4 Longinos Gonzalez Jr (719)-520-6414, LonginosGonzalezJr@elpasoco.com
District 5 Cami Bremer (719) 520-6415, CamiBremer@elpasoco.com

PARK AND TRAIL News

Trail Crossing Improvements
Colorado Springs boasts a vibrant trail system that connects people within their neighborhoods and to destinations beyond. Many people enjoy our trails, but have asked for safer crossings where trails cross a street between intersections. Our City Traffic Engineering’s Bike Program responded to the call and coordinated with several City departments to install four trail crossings: 
  • Shooks Run Trail across Fontanero Avenue
  • Briargate SIMD Trail across Briargate Blvd
  • Meadowridge Trail across Rangewood Drive
  • Sand Creek Trail across Chelton Avenue
The new crossings open the door for trail users to access destinations outside of their neighborhoods and improve safety by calling attention to trail users crossing the street. Trail crossings were made possible through bicycle funds available through the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.
 
Drivers: watch for trail users wanting to cross. It is the state law that you must yield to them and obey traffic control measures. If you see a vehicle stopped in a different lane at the trail crossing do not try to pass that vehicle as trail crossers may be blocked by the stopped vehicle. 
Trail users: take responsibility for your own safety. Be sure all lanes of traffic have stopped before crossing.
Fisher Peak State Park
This coming Friday, Oct. 30, Governor Polis and project partners will celebrate the opening of Fishers Peak State Park in Las Animas County. Development is ongoing, but a small portion of the park will open for public access.

TOSC

TOSC 20|20 Challenge
Don’t forget to visit Cheyenne Mountain State Park in October! Check out this wonderful, scenic state park with 28 miles of trails for hiking and biking (designated trails for equestrian and dog users), picnic area, campground, visitor center, and archery range. Share a photo from your trip on Facebook or Instagram using #tosc2020challenge for a chance to win an Osprey pack! 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).
IndyGive!
November 1 – December 31
Give! is a year end philanthropic initiative aimed at inspiring the community to support local non-profits. Once again, TOSC will be participating in the campaign and will be asking for YOUR support! Be sure to keep an eye out for the Give! communications starting November 1. Visit indygive.com and search for Trails and Open Space Coalition to make your contribution!
Community Cleanup
Glass bottles. Straws. Frozen homework. Scooter. Single use plastics. These are just a few of the objects that were pulled from Mary Kyer Park and the LaForet trail during the Scheels Colorado Springs and TOSC litter pickup. The ten-person team spread out over 3 hours to pick up a combined 13 bags of trash and cover 3.1 miles of trails and drainage creeks in the area. What makes this litter pickup even more impressive was that it was done in bitter wintry conditions where the temperature never made it above 30 degrees. Learn more about Scheels as they approach the opening of their store in 2021: www.scheels.com

Community

Physical Activity & Covid-19
Researchers in the Health Sciences Department at UCCS are performing a research study to understand recreational physical activity behavior in Colorado Springs before, during, and after Colorado’s COVID-19 Stay at Home restrictions. They are looking for adults in Colorado Springs ages 18-65 to take an online survey. Even if you do not consider yourself active, we would love for you to take the survey (it is completely anonymous) and share the link with your friends and family. Participation is voluntary and there is no compensation for taking the survey. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes of your time. If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Odell at nodell@uccs.edu.
 
Ghouls & Stools @ Bear Creek Dog Park
Sat. Oct 31, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Polluted water is scary! Help keep it clean, gloves, buckets and bags provided. Make it festive by participating in the Costume Contest! Contest categories include: TV/Movie, Scariest, Most Original and Best Matching Duo. For more information contact Dana 719-520-6983, dananordstrom@elpasoco.com.
Friends of Monument Valley Park
Rocking Kick off
Sun. Nov 1, 12:00 PM
Hunt for Give! rocks in Monument Valley Park
and win fun prizes!! Post a photo of yourself with the Give! rock showing Prize # on Facebook or Instagram and tag Friends of Monument Valley Park @friendsofmvp.cos AND email info@fmvp.net  Hope you have a rock ‘n’ good time!
More info at www.fmvp.net
PPRR Trail Clean Up
Sat. Nov 7, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Help the Pikes Peak Road Runners tidy up their adopted section of the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail. Monthly cleanups are held to pick up trash and other treasures along the trail. Meet near America the Beautiful Park, on Cimino Drive just south of Colorado Ave. Look for the parking lot on to the east. The cleanups last for about two hours. Everybody is welcome to come and help clean the trail. Wear your mask and bring a pair of work gloves and dress for the weather. Trash bags will be provided. Learn more.
Bear Run 2020
Sat. November 7, 10:00 AM
Bear Creek Nature Center is hosting the 6th Annual Bear Run! Runners suit suit up in bear costumes for this silly, family-friendly 5k and 3k fun run & walk on the beautiful trails of Bear Creek Regional Park. The course contains some uphill and downhill sections. This year’s run will take place in staggered waves of no more than 25 runners. Embellish your suit to win prizes by entering in the costume contest. 

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