News Wednesday Nov 18, 2020

As a Coalition

We like to highlight current and future partners. Blackpackers is a new 501c3 non-profit committed to addressing the gap in representation in the outdoors. Founded by Patricia Cameron, Patricia is trying to make the outdoors an equal and equitable place for all by offering monthly outdoor adventures to families of color throughout the region and making outdoor gear and transportation available. This past summer Patricia achieved a personal goal hiking the entire 486 miles of the Colorado Trail solo. Blackpackers is part of this years’ Indy Give. To learn more:

Parkland Dedication Ordinance (PLDO) Update
In last week’s e-blast we explained what PLDO(Parkland Dedication Ordinance) is and why it is being discussed. At this month’s Parks Advisory Board meeting, the majority voted to accept proposed changes to the ordinance with the exception of “acres per thousand.” Until now, the ordinance required developers to donate/dedicate 7.5 acres per thousand new residents. The proposal asked parks board to approve lowering that to 5.5 acres per thousand to align with what is actually the current standard according to the 2014 Parks Master Plan and a historical decrease in the number of people living in residential units.
The majority of Parks Board members voted no, preferring to keep the 7.5/1000 standard. The Board also unanimously passed a resolution requesting City Council support the creation of a new Task Force to look at long term sustainable funding for parks including a future parks development fee (used in cities like Aurora to fund the construction of parks.) City Council will make the final decision on the PLDO proposal.


Corral Bluffs – Purchasing a Critical Piece
For several years TOPS staff has tried to purchase a 40 acre parcel that will provide future access to Highway 94 and perhaps be the site of a future Visitor Center. This month the TOPS Working Committee and Parks Advisory Board approved the purchase. Pending City Council support, the addition (with an existing house) will provide opportunities for staff to monitor illegal access and accommodate ongoing research. Corral Bluffs is rich with paleontological artifacts and was featured in a NOVA special. The long-term plan is to acquire additional property/easements and connect Jimmy Camp Creek Park to Corral Bluffs with a public trail and finally allow public access to this unique open space. A Master Planning process could begin within the next 2-3 years.
Cottonwood Creek Park Update
Cottonwood Creek Park has turf installed at three softball fields. Funded by 2B, this is a water-saving measure that allows for expanded use without risking damage to the grass. The old sod was transferred to Palmer Park and replanted earlier this year. Thank you Parks and Rec for your resourceful reuse of park assets!
Friends of Peregrine Parks Update
In the northwest corner of Colorado Springs, the Friends of Peregrine Parks are making a big impact on their trails. This group focuses their passion and energy on the Blodgett Open Space, Woodmen Valley Park and other areas in the Peregrine neighborhood. Despite limitations created by the COVID-19 pandemic, this group was able to accomplish fantastic work in their beloved open space. Gary Moring, President of the Friends of Peregrine Parks, shared three projects he and his team completed this summer. One project involved digging out a large double-culvert under the Red Squirrel trail. Removing sediment from the pipes and adding a check dam helped alleviate flooding concerns for this popular Blodgett Open Space trail. A second project involved trail maintenance on the Ridgeline trail around the hoodoos above Woodmen Valley Park. They were able to better define the trail and constructed a water barrier along the trail as well. The third project was done in coordination with the Peregrine Homeowners Association and included removing mullein, an invasive plant species, from Blodgett Open Space. If you frequent the parks of northwestern Colorado Springs, be on the lookout for more work days next summer when the Friends of Peregrine Park begin their trail maintenance projects again. Get more info.


20|20 Parks Challenge
The Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) has selected 20 amazing parks we think everyone should visit this year. This month we are highlighting Fox Run Regional ParkShare a photo from your trip on Facebook and/or Instagram using #tosc2020challenge for a chance to win a beautiful handcrafted tree ornament! Visit all 20 parks in 2020 to earn bragging rights because you are going to experience some really cool places AND an I🧡Parks STICKER.


Big thank you to Five Peaks for supporting TOSC! We are so grateful for local businesses that invest in our outdoor community.

Thursday December 3, 5:00 PM
The Trails and Open Space Coalition and the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District are joining forces to co-host this unique virtual event. The Festival theme is “Our Waters” and features 10 Wild and Scenic Film Festival short films about waters and rivers around the world. These films raise awareness and encourage stewardship of our waterways. Virtual ‘doors’ open at 4:30pm and the films start at 5:00pm, so get cozy at home, grab some popcorn and your beverage of choice, and enjoy the Festival. There will be a raffle for prizes and there will be a live chat so that you can connect with other viewers while watching the films. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased here.


R.I.P. Dick Timberlake
We would like to take a moment to honor the memory of local cyclist and TOSC supporter Dick Timberlake, who was killed in a crash on Sunday, November 8th as he was pedaling down to join the Colorado Springs Cycling Club weekly Sunday Social Distance Ride. Dick had recently joined TOSC for a tour of the Pineries Open Space on mountain bikes, and he has been a long-time member of the local Colorado Springs cycling and outdoor community. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time and would like to highlight the need for attentiveness and safety as we move about our community, regardless of our mode of travel. 
Take the E-Bike Survey
E-Bikes on soft-surface trails in parks and open spaces? COS Parks wants to hear from you! 1000+ have already taken the survey, now it’s your turn. Survey closes Nov 20th.
Class 1, pedal assisted e-bikes are already allowed on the city’s hard surface urban trails. Now the city is considering allowing the same within parks and open spaces. Survey results will help city staff make a decision.
50 Days, 50 Ways
The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are getting cooler, but there are plenty of ways to nurture your physical and mental wellbeing here in Colorado Springs and El Paso County. Starting Nov. 12, there are 50 days until 2021. How many of these activities can you complete before the New Year?
Several of these activities can be used to complete TOSC’s 20|20 Parks Challenge!
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