News Wednesday Jan 20, 2021

Break-ins at Trailheads

30.1 seconds. That is the average amount of time it takes a criminal to break into a car. Over the past few months, there has been a spike in broken windows at trailheads across the Pikes Peak region. The Mount Cutler trailhead has been a hot spot along with some of the parking lots in Palmer Park and quieter open spaces from southern Douglas County to Fountain. The best protection from car break-ins is to not leave anything in view in your car. Any object, from coats to yoga matts, can bring unwanted attention. Hiding important personal items in cars does not always work because criminals know that purses are stowed away under seats or wallets are left in glove boxes and trunks. If something is valuable to you, it is best to leave it at home or carry it on you while recreating. Other ways to protect yourself include being mindful of how and where you park, being alert to suspicious circumstances around the parking area and having a plan for protecting valuables before every adventure. If your car is broken into, it is important to report the incident. In Colorado Springs, call the police non-emergency number at 719-444-7000.

PARK AND TRAIL News

El Paso County Parks is hosting a birthday party and you are invited! County Parks has come up with many fun ways to celebrating their 50 years in existence. 50 of them to be exact. For the more active user, they’ve created a series of hikes totaling 50K on county trails to challenge your knowledge of county parks and trails and burn a few calories in the process.
Get more information about EPC Park’s 50th Celebration.
Hiking Bob: Snowshoeing 101
“It’s still possible to enjoy outdoor recreation in the winter, with some adjustments to clothing, gear and planning. Winter also brings snow, of course, and if we’re lucky, snow too deep to just walk in.” Want to learn the basics of snowshoeing? Our pal Hiking Bob has you covered; read his latest article, Snowshoeing 101, to learn about sizing, footwear, and most importantly when and where to go!
Management of Target Shooting
The Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands Forest and Grassland Supervisor released the Integrated Management of Target Shooting on the Pike National Forest project for public comment on January 6, 2021.
The Integrated Management of Target Shooting project addresses the need to provide opportunities for target shooting on National Forest System lands, to identify areas unsuitable for dispersed target shooting, to identify locations to be developed as shooting ranges, and to establish a conditions-based adaptive management framework to manage target shooting in the future. This project will affect recreational shooting on the Pikes Peak, South Platte and South Park Ranger Districts. Comments are due by February 22, 2021.
The Forest Service has put together a great StoryMap with more information!

TOSC

Thurs. Feb 4, 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Let’s celebrate our wonderful parks community! Join TOSC and friends for a free virtual event highlighting the wonderful Friends Groups and Park staff that help maintain our parks. Learn about the different groups that operate in El Paso County Parks, what projects they have planned for 2021, and how you can help. Registration is required and is limited to the first 100 people. 
Winter Get Out Spread Out
Hiking in the wintertime in Colorado Springs? You bet! On Sunday, January 10th TOSC staff member Allen Beauchamp joined local hiking guru “Hiking Bob” Falcone for a nearly 4 mile hike along the Sundance Trail in Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Bob is one of the volunteer Trail Ambassadors for the park and loves to highlight how accessible the trails are year-round. The Sundance trail in particular is very well-suited to winter exploration as it includes gentle grades and predominantly open trail sections. With a light to moderate covering of snow, the hiking is beautiful and winter hiking or snow boots are all that is needed most days, but be sure to take traction devices with you on the hike in case of the occasional icy patch. If we’ve had more significant snowfall, the Sundance Trail is also great for snowshoe use and can be navigated by beginners looking to try a new wintertime activity. Cheyenne Mountain State Park has excellent facilities and the Limekiln Trailhead access for the Sundance Trail has bathroom accommodations and a play area for children so the entire family can have a place to recreate regardless of hiking ability. 
 
Watch the Relive video that was created from this hike showing the beautiful January snowy trail conditions: Winter Hike in Cheyenne Mountain State Park
 
For more on Cheyenne Mountain State Park and a link to their trail map, visit: https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/CheyenneMountain
Fossil Craft Brewing
We want to thank our friends, Josh and Megan, at Fossil Craft Brewing for their continued support, despite covid restrictions. This past fall, Fossil brewed a custom Chili beer – The Trail Blazer – and donated a portion of each beer sold to TOSC. Their commitment to environmental conservation does not stop with TOSC, though. Fossil became one of the latest COS businesses to join the 1% for the Planet program. Through this program, Fossil is dedicated to donating 1% of their profits to environmental conservation nonprofits each year. Be sure to check out the other fundraisers they host throughout the year that help our local trail community, visit
City Center Series
Learn from the best and brightest on topics concerning parks, transit, urbanization, jobs creation and more at four FREE virtual events in 2021. TOSC is delighted to be recognized as the sponsor for the Feb 17th City Center Series, Equity in Transportation with Tamika L. Butler; thanks to a generous donor.
Active multimodal transit is key to economic and public health for growing cities. How do we ensure its benefits are accessible to ALL citizens?
You won’t want to miss any of these great events:

Community

Bike Friendly Community Chat
Thursday Jan. 21, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Join Bike Colorado Springs for an online event to discuss Colorado Springs’s application renewal for a Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Ranking. League Of American Bicyclist’s awards BFC rankings every 4 years. In 2017 Colorado Springs was recognized as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly City. For this years’ application (due in February) Bike Colorado Springs wants to update you on the application process as well as get your feedback for a few application questions.
Parks Calendar
The 2021 Colorado Springs Parks Calendar is now available free to the public. The calendar celebrates the city’s sesquicentennial highlighting how parks, cultural amenities and recreation opportunities have shaped Colorado Springs. Featuring spectacular photography, (our partner Hiking Bob is featured in the new calendar… twice!) the calendars can be obtained from the following locations:
-Parks Administration Office, 1401 Recreation Way
-Hillside Community Center, 925 S. Institute
-Meadows Park Community Center, 1943 S. El Paso
 
Thanks to Timberline Landscaping for sponsoring the cost of printing.
 
The Pond
The Friends of the Equestrian Skills Course will be rebuilding “The Pond” at Bear Creek Regional Park. The group put down a layer of bentonite to seal the bottom in 2020. Now they are ready to rebuild and they want your input! Tell them what feature and obstacles you think “The Pond” should or should not have.
Kids on Bikes
Kids on Bikes’ summer camp registration is now open, with an early bird discount lasting through the end of January! Bike Camps offer kids the opportunity to develop overall bicycling and mountain bike skills, see a variety of terrain, explore the local trail systems, and cultivate a love for bicycling at a young age. Proceeds from our bike camps help us fulfill our mission and break down barriers to bicycling all year long. Need-based scholarships for summer bike camps are available.
Dates, locations, and registration at kidsonbikes.net.
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