News Wednesday Feb 3, 2021

Ballot Issue 1
If you are a registered voter in Colorado Springs, your ballot will arrive in mid-March. You will be voting for a City Council candidate representing your district. And you’ll vote “yes” or “no” for Issue 1. The TOSC Board of Directors recommends a vote of “yes” on Issue 1. Issue 1 will allow our City’s ballot language to match the State’s Tabor ballot language. It will provide more accountability, clarity and transparency. In the weeks to come we will give all city council candidates an opportunity to pen their thoughts for maintaining and improving our city parks, trails and open spaces. Those answers will be on our website. This is an exciting time for our community. As we celebrate 150 years as a city, it’s a great time to reflect on what has been achieved and what remains to be accomplished. Our Founder’s vision was for a city filled with parks and greenways, full of trees and natural spaces for people to thrive.
Do these candidates share that vision? We’ll let you know!
More info on City Elections.

PARK AND TRAIL News

Road Closure in North Cheyenne Canyon
Feb. 8 – March 31, 2021
A section of North Cheyenne Canyon Road, from the main entrance of North Cheyenne Cañon Park to the parking lot at Helen Hunt Falls, will be closed weekdays (Monday-Friday) to facilitate the construction of a temporary bypass road ahead of a larger bridge replacement project in the park. North Cheyenne Cañon Park will remain open (public can access trials) during the road closure, which is expected to last about 6 weeks, weather permitting. The road will be open on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors can expect to see heavy machinery and should use caution around the construction area. 
 
The temporary bypass road is being built around a bridge that is slated for reconstruction in fall 2021. It is located near pull-off No. 24. The temporary bypass road is necessary (Due to safety restrictions, heavy vehicles cannot use the existing bridge.) until the bridge is replaced so that vehicles larger than a heavy-duty pickup truck can continue to use North Cheyenne Canyon Road.
More information about this bridge replacement project is available at ColoradoSprings.gov/NCCBridgeReplacement.
Sinton Trail Detour 2021Sinton Trail Update
On January 6, 2021 the City’s Parks Department was forced to close a section of the Sinton Trail between Holland Park Blvd and North Chestnut Street. This is a very popular urban trail that provides connectivity to the Garden of the Gods corridor and the park itself. The closure was caused by a major washout of the north embankment of Douglas Creek. Since that time, it was discovered that a significant portion of the creek and embankment will need to be reconstructed in order to provide a more sustainable water channel and ensure the trail surface is not damaged again, once repaired. TOSC and other project partners are working with the City to better define the detour route, which uses the concrete connection midway between North Chestnut Street and Holland Park Blvd, taking users on Vondelpark Drive. The southern portion of this detour is rough and unpaved, please be careful when transiting through this stretch. This area is circled in green on the provided images.
 
Due to the combined repair of the creek by our Stormwater group and then the repair of the Sinton Trail itself, this detour looks to be in place for a period longer than first anticipated. We will provide updates as they are made available. 
Muddy Trails
At some point, snow and ice will melt and create expanses of mud. When trail users try to avoid mud by creating rogue trails or walking/riding around the mud they damage the soft edges of the trail. The vegetation is not strong enough to survive this abuse. The loss of grasses, wildflowers and sapling shrubs will lead to future erosion issues. Unnecessary widening of trails means a loss of habitat and creates a difficult, unappealing surface that will need to be fixed by trail crews.
As a community, we can take steps to protect our trails during mud season. Recreate in the morning when trail surfaces are firmer and avoid soggy north facing trails. When you come to a muddy area, walk or ride through the middle of the trail. Muddy shoes will dry out over night while erosion will take years to recover. But really, the best thing we can do is avoid muddy trails all together. When mud is being reported, try out the paved trails like Central Garden of the Gods, Sand Creek, or Cottonwood Creek Trail. Leave no trace includes foot/tire tread in the trail.
 
Management of Target Shooting
Limit target shooting in Pike National Forest? Not eliminate, but limit recreational shooting to improve safety and provide protection for the forest by setting aside areas for target shooting instead of allowing dispersed target shooting. TOSC’s Advocacy Committee and Board support limiting shooting to designated areas away from trails, trailheads and campgrounds. 
Read more about the proposal and make comments by February 22, 2021.
 

TOSC


El Paso County Parks Friends Group Kickoff
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. 
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:

Getting to know TOSC Staff

Aaron Rogers, Programs Coordinator
How Long at TOSC: I have been the Program Coordinator with TOSC since October of 2018. 
 
Interesting Tidbit: Long before I got into the outdoor industry 9 years ago and even before my short stint as an aspiring history teacher, I was a volunteer head baseball coach. For four seasons, I led 3 high school teams and one U10 team.  My favorite season had a group of high school kids that was reminiscent of the “Bad News Bears.” This group of teens came from all sorts of diverse backgrounds and had amazing talent. It just so happened that none of that talent translated to baseball. That team stuck together through a very turbulent season and formed a strong family feel by the end of the season. They won one game and that single win came on the last night of the season. Sure, it took three errors by the other team (who was in first place) and a miracle bad call by the home plate umpire for the win to happen, but it felt like we won the World Series. The life lessons I learned from coaching still propel how I approach volunteer programs that I lead for TOSC.  
 
Why I’m Passionate About Trails and Open Spaces: I am passionate about uniting people. Sometimes that involves connecting people to the right park or trail. Other times it is connecting a person with a project or a Friends Group that will let their talents flourish. No matter what, I am passionate about uniting our community around the common goal of creating an open space and trail network where everyone has access and feels welcomed.  
 
Favorite Place to Hike: I have three places that I love to hike. 1) Fountain Creek Nature Center trails: This is the most magical place to spend a few hours wandering. This is also the spot where my love for the outdoors started when I was a little kid. 2) Central Garden of the Gods at Sunset: Mother Nature used every crayon in the box when she created this colorful landscape. 3) Spring Creek trail in North Cheyenne Canon Park: This trail takes a lot of work to reach; however, you are rewarded with some of the best vistas that change depending on the season you visit. 
 
Indy Give!
One final “thank you” to all of you who made Indy Give a huge success for the Trails and Open Space Coalition! You had so many excellent choices to support. That you chose to support us with your donation is inspiring and humbling. We will put those dollars to work in 2021! Our Get out Get Healthy program, Trail Ambassadors initiative and of course getting the TOPs program extended and increased will be among our top priorities. And Friends groups across the region can count on TOSC for ongoing support. 2021 is going to be a great year – thanks to all of you!

Community

Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Tues – Sat, 10:00 – 5:00 pm
In honor of Colorado Springs’ upcoming sesquicentennial anniversary, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum will unveil its newest exhibit, COS@150, on Saturday, January 30th. The exhibit explores our community’s history and culture and features 150 objects, illuminating 150 stories, commemorating 150 years. Our TOSC story is included in the 150! The COS@150 gallery will include the people, places and events that helped shape Colorado Springs. Objects on exhibit will range widely in age, size and format in order to engage, surprise and inform both residents and visitors alike. The stories featured will be drawn from our vast archives, collections, and members of our community. (Look for hiking boots provided by one of TOSC’s founders!)
Reserve your free tickets at www.CSPM.org/COS150.
 
Pikes Peak Greenway Trail Cleanup!
Sat. Feb 6, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
The Pikes Peak Road Runners have adopted a section of the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail. Monthly cleanups are held to pick up trash and other treasures along the trail. The monthly cleanups occur on the first Saturday of each month. Meet near America the Beautiful Park on Cimino Drive just south of Colorado Avenue. On-street parking is available. The cleanups last for about 2 hours. Everybody is welcome to come and help clean the trail. Bring a pair of work gloves. Trash bags will be provided. If it’s a warm day, also bring a bottle of water to refresh yourself. 
More info at www.pprrun.org or visit Facebook Event
Palmer Park Work Day
Sat. Feb 6, 9:00 – 12:30 pm
The Guardians of Palmer Park invite you to help out at the park this weekend. Due to COVID-19, participation will be limited and social distancing protocols will be in place. You must pre-register to participate!
  • Trash pickup throughout the park. Meet at the Maizeland Parking Lot near the Baseball field. To preregister for this group go to: http://cerv.is/m?0132gYm2EJq.
  • Pick up dog waste and trash on the Yucca/Mesa trails (off-leash dog area). Check in at the Yucca Area parking lot. To preregister for this group go to: http://cerv.is/m?0132gENiNqR.
 
Bike COS Volunteers!
Bike Colorado Springs is looking for volunteers to step up and get involved with making our city a safer, easier place to ride a bike. BCS has openings for two specific roles, Membership Coordinator and Outreach Committee Chair. If you are interested in becoming involved send an email to info@bikecoloradosprings.org.
Learn more about volunteering.
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Do you want to preserve and improve our outdoor spaces?

Become a member!

For as little as $30 Join the Coalition and advocate for the preservation, improvement and maintenance of our TRAILS, OPEN SPACES and PARKS.