News Wednesday Dec 2, 2020

Virtual Wild and Scenic Film Festival Thursday, December 3 @ 5:00 PM
Grab the popcorn and get ready to join TOSC and the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District for a virtual film festival! Embark on a journey to better understand the importance of water and learn from inspiring stories how you can help protect our watershed and wildlands. During the intermissions, we will be giving away great items from Sierra Nevada, Kleen Kanteen, Peak Design and Earthjustice! Proceeds will help to continue our important work to preserve the natural environment in the Pikes Peak region.


COVID-19 Level Red
As of Friday, Nov. 27, the following changes will be implemented while El Paso County is in Level Red.
  • Pioneers Museum closed
  • Pavilion rentals closed
  • Community Centers closed for rentals; they will continue serving as e-learning sites and provide outdoor food distribution services
  • Therapeutic Recreation Program offering virtual programming only
  • Sertich Ice Center operating public skating for 10 people or less per room; same applies for private lessons
  • Outdoor sport facilities only renting to groups with less than 10
  • Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain open; gift shops operating at 50% capacity with takeout food only
  • Patty Jewett Bar & Grill offering outdoor dining on patio and takeout; tee time reservations and payment available online
  • Valley Hi Grill & Pub offering takeout and delivery; tee time reservations and payment available online
  • Permits for outdoor guided services and entertainment continue to allow for a maximum of 10 people per group
  • Permits for outdoor special events (like Skate in the Park at Acacia Park) continue to allow a maximum of 75 people. Individuals are asked to attend only with members of their own household and maintain 6 feet of distancing between groups.
Parks, trails, open spaces, outdoor playgrounds and sport courts remain open for use. Interaction in these areas should be limited to those within your household and 6 feet of physical distancing should be maintained between groups. For the current status of various facilities, programs and services, please visit the respective web pages.
Additional reminders:
  • Do not use parks, trails and open spaces if you are exhibiting symptoms. If you or your children are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to stay home when sick.
  • Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to, during and after use of parks or trails. Bring hand sanitizer with you to clean your hands if soap and water are not available.
  • Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from members of other households at all times. In many cases, especially on trails, this may mean creating a single-file line. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.
  • Wear a face covering when possible.
  • While on trails, warn other users of your presence before you pass, and step aside to let others pass. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
Hiking Bob Podcast
Bob talks with Trails and Open Spaces Coalition Executive Director, Susan Davies. A frequent guest on the podcast, Susan gives an update on important issues surrounding parks, trails and open spaces in the Pikes Peak region and how you can support the groups work by donating via the Indy Give campaign
Friends Groups Updates
This week’s Friends Group update takes us to Teller County. The Friends of Florissant Fossil Beds and the Friends of Mueller State Park have been bravely pushing forward through 2020. Like every other Friends Group in the region, both groups have had to pivot multiple times and adjust to finding new ways to support their parks and agencies. The Friends of Florissant Fossil Beds have hosted virtual seminars covering historical topics. Before the pandemic arrived, they conducted 3 bird walks in conjunction with the Great Backyard Bird Count where 13 different species of birds were spotted. The Friends of Mueller State Park have also made an impact this year. They have made tremendous progress in their landscape project at the entrance to the Visitor Center. New plants have been added around the elk statue with plans for more plantings next spring. The Friends of Mueller State Park have conducted several impressive fundraising campaigns including their annual firewood sale which sold out! The money they raise goes back into projects in the park, like purchasing materials for new backcountry campsites to be built. Both of these groups have done amazing work and we are all excited to see what creative ways they find to support their parks in 2021!


What I wouldn’t give to see conservation efforts in all outdoor spaces.
During the work week I am a Conservation Specialist. On the weekends I love to hike. Over the past eight months, I’ve enjoyed seeing more and more people escaping to our outdoor spaces for respite. But with the additional trail use, comes greater impact on our trails. I’m seeing more social (rogue) trails than ever before and I’m noticing trails are widening. Thankfully, I learned that TOSC is stepping in and developing a Trail Ambassador Program aimed at educating trails users on the Leave No Trace Principles, which will aid in the conservation of fragile ecosystems.
Today, I made a donation to TOSC’s Indy Give! Campaign because I want to see their new Trail Ambassador program thrive and grow. What would you give to protect our outdoor spaces?
Tuesday, Dec. 15, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
TOSC Members will be invited to join us for a virtual TRAIL MIXER where we will be discussing two topics you’ve been asking about. This month, hear updates on the latest land purchase for Coral Bluffs and what the timeline is for planning and public access. Learn about what new projects are planned for Cheyenne Mountain State Park. And hear from our City Forester why we need to be paying attention to the trees in our parks and open spaces. Invitation forthcoming for all TOSC members.
Not a member or has your membership expired? It’s not too late to join or renew. 
20|20 Parks Challenge
This is it, you have 1 month to complete TOSC’s 20|20 Parks Challenge! This month we are highlighting Garden of the Gods. Discover the beauty and history of this National Natural Landmark. 1,367 acres with 21 miles of dirt and paved trails, this park is popular for hiking, walking, technical rock climbing, road/mountain biking and horseback riding. Share a picture of your visit on Facebook or Instagram using #tosc2020challenge for a chance to win prizes. AND don’t forget to email when you complete the challenge to get your sticker and get entered into the grand prize giveaway! – Osprey hydration packs, TOSC t-shirts & dog bandanas, gift cards…






The Holiday Season is quickly approaching! We want to thank all the businesses that, despite trying times, have continued to support TOSC and our outdoor community. Please consider supporting these fantastic local businesses:

1 Source Insurance
Animal ER Care
Brass Tap
City Rock
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Colorado Springs Dog Training Center
Criterium Bicycles
Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region
Dean Jeager/Treasure Davis Team
Dr. Emily Batson Dentistry
Elite Properties of America
Five Peaks
Fossil Craft Beer Company
Good Neighbors Meeting House
Hiking Bob
Jersey Mikes
Kangaroo Coffee
Live Dream Colorado
Mountain Mudworks
Phelan Gardens
Production Studio of Colorado
Pub Dog
Roman Villa
Streetcar 520
Timberline Landscaping
Urban Egg
Whole Foods
Platte Bridge Project
You may notice construction work starting to take place along East Platte Avenue around the bridges spanning Sand Creek. This approximately $14 million dollar project began in late November 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2022. It will not only replace the dual bridge structure constructed in 1956 with a single span, it will also include an underpass facility allowing the extension of the Sand Creek Trail in Southeast Colorado Springs! The newest section of the Sand Creek Trail was constructed in conjunction with the Patriot Park development just north of the project area and opened in late 2019, running from Platte Avenue to Galley Road. Additionally, the project will include sidewalks on both the north and south of the roadway allowing for future trail connectivity as this area is developed. This project highlights how major Public Works projects can incorporate improvements for our vast urban trail network, allowing connectivity and expansion in support of the 2014 Parks Master Plan vision. 
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