News Wednesday Feb 18, 2021

Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace (LNT) is a movement that is catching on fast in the Pikes Peak region. With the mission of ensuring a sustainable future for the outdoors and the planet, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (based out of Boulder, CO) is using the power of science, education, and stewardship to spread its 7 principles across the world.
Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services has been hard at work over the past couple of years educating our community about LNT. The goal of the park staff is to obtain the coveted honor of being a LNT Gold Standard Site. There are only 12 Gold Standard Sites across the country. Colorado Springs would be one of the first city agencies to achieve the honor. To earn Gold Standard Site status, the TOPS Ranger team has been busy training their entire park staff on the LNT Principles, as well as local outdoor organizations and Friends Groups; and adding specific LNT Principles to new park signage in open spaces.
Learn more about Leave No Trace.

PARK AND TRAIL News

Midland Trail Update
Late last week, the Beckers Lane bridge replacement project began. It’s a much-needed upgrade to the historic Beckers Lane bridge that will also allow the construction of an improved crossing for the Midland Trail at Beckers Lane. As many of our members know, this crossing had sight line challenges with limited visibility and an awkward approach from both east and west. There is a detour planned for Midland Trail users that will have users proceed around the north side of the ballfield. Please use caution when walking or riding through this area as there will be construction activities taking place, but we appreciate the care that the Manitou Urban Renewal Authority and project team have taken to minimize the impact for users of the Midland Trail. We look forward to celebrating when the project is completed, as we will see bridge, roadway, utilities, trail, and aesthetic improvements that will be enjoyed for many years to come along this beautiful historic route. 
More information on the Beckers Lane Bridge Project.
New State Wildlife Area Pass
Colorado spends 7.5 million annually to maintain its 350 Wildlife areas (not to be confused with Wilderness areas) covering 684,000 acres. Rosemont and Skaguay Reservoirs, Beaver Creek and Brush Hollow in Penrose and Dome Rock are all Wildlife areas. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is proposing a $46 annual state pass for Wildlife Area recreational users who do not purchase a hunting or fishing pass. Daily passes and discounts for seniors and youth under 18 will also be available. CPW hopes to sell 6000 passes and generate $270,000 for maintenance and management. Prior to this proposed change, hikers and bird-watchers were forced to buy hunting or fishing licenses to access the wildlife areas. Some expressed opposition to purchasing licenses for activities they do not condone. The new proposal does away with that requirement but still provides support for these areas. If you care to comment, email dnr_cpwcommission@state.co.us by March 12th.
Park Advisory Board
The Board of El Paso County Commissioners is seeking community-minded citizen volunteers to serve on the El Paso County Park Advisory Board. The Park Advisory Board reviews and comments on items and proposals related to park policies, philosophies and objectives, and makes formal recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners. Applications are due by March 8, 2021.    
     View Volunteer Application.

TOSC

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

Allen Beauchamp, Community Engagement Guru
How Long at TOSC: I have been the Community Engagement Coordinator for TOSC (formerly known as the Legacy Loop Guy) since coming on staff to manage the CHF Legacy Loop activation grant in 2017
Interesting Tidbit: Lawrence Welk is my Great Uncle. How is that for a quirky tid-bit? This connection ties me to a long line of down to earth farming folk from the North Dakota region. I know that I get my strong love for family and community-minded sensibility from this lineage and it helps drive the passion that I have focused on the work that I do.
Why I’m Passionate About Trails and Open Spaces: I rolled into TOSC as a more bicycle-focused individual, that being the primary tool that I used to engage our local community in the grant-funded work performed. My personal evolution as an advocate took solid root though as I rediscovered the beauty, rich history, and unique sense of place that Colorado Springs possesses. The more I learned about our unparalleled access to a robust system of parks, trails, and open space properties in our region, the more I realized the many years of work that it has taken to allow Colorado Springs to become the world-class city that it is. I am dedicated to the work we do as an organization and I have a special love for engaging and unlocking opportunities for those less fortunate or underserved in our community, as the joy of our parks should be accessible to everyone who calls this place home.
Favorite Place to Hike:  I’m a returning hiker, I have to admit. Beyond any major foot travel, I used my fat bike to explore countless #hiddeninplainsight locations all throughout El Paso County, many pretty far off the beaten path. It was a member hike that Sharie put together with the Corral Bluffs Alliance that completely blew me away and reconnected me with how deeply one could immerse themselves in a place so full of history and wonder. Slowly, one step at a time.
Mountain Equipment Recyclers
One of TOSC’s most steadfast partners has been MER. Now located at 2222 Bott Ave., they continue to provide our active community with excellent deals on gently used outdoor gear. And so much more! When you clean out your closet, attic or garage – should you find that old college back-pack or sleeping bag….and do you really need 6 bicycles? (Our Allen says yes.) Bottom line as you de-clutter, remember us. You can drop those items off at MER in our name and TOSC will receive a portion of the proceeds when it sells. (And we dare you to try to walk through the store and NOT find something you didn’t know you needed) Now managed by Kids on Bikes, MER is a community treasure. It keeps usable products out of the landfill and on the trail. Plus it’s a steady stream of income for a number of local non-profits. So thanks to MER, and thanks to YOU for your donations.
ReFUND CO
Looking for an easy way to support parks and trails? If you get a state income tax refund in 2020, you can donate some or all of it to support TOSC and our ongoing work in the community. ReFUND CO puts you in charge of where your donation goes. It’s as simple as:
1.    Decide how much of your refund to donate.
2.    Enter TRAILS AND OPEN SPACE COALITION and our registration number [20023002987] in the Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund line on your state income tax return or tax software – or just give this info to your tax preparer when you share your tax documents.
Learn more at RefundWhatMatters.org. As always, we’re grateful for your past support and hope you’ll consider donating again through this new program to continue our mission.

Community

 
What Matters to YOU?
21 candidates are running for 6 COS City Council District Seats. That may be a record! If you had time to ask each of them just 3 questions about parks, trails and open spaces in Colorado Springs, what would you ask? Share your best question and we’ll ask for you! We’ll provide the answers in our weekly e-blast about the time you receive your ballot in the mail.
Send your questions to Susan@trailsandopenspaces.org
Thursday, Feb. 18, 5:30 -7:00 PM
ConnectCOS is a visionary transportation study that will result in 20-year plan for safe, efficient, accessible and well-connected travel options in and around Colorado Springs. As we move forward with developing a long term transportation plan for our community the city looks to residents to provide insight to help create a transportation roadmap that reflects the evolving needs of our community. ConnectCOS seeks to address the tremendous growth that has recently taken place and will build on years of study and analysis to identify transportation improvements and the strategic steps necessary to ensure an efficient, accessible, safe, and well-connected network. Be a part of the conversation!
Pre-register for Virtual Public Meeting.
Virtual Wine Tasting
Saturday, February 20, 7:00 PM
Stay safe at home and enjoy this special Virtual Wine Tasting Event. Enjoy:
  • Sauvage Spectrum Sparklet Rose
  • Whitewater Hill No Oak Chardonnay
  • Whitewater Hill Chambourcin
  • Wine Tasting Sheets
  • Handouts and Color Guide
This is a great opportunity to try some excellent Colorado wines and to develop your tasting palate by participating in the special Zoom event. The cost of the wine package is $65. All proceeds from this event will go to the Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers, a 501(c)3 organization, and will support environmental education programs in El Paso County. The wine package can be picked up from The Wine Seller or if you live in El Paso County, they will be hand-delivered on Friday, February 19. After the Virtual Tasting, join us for the 2021 Hobby Wine Competition Awards at 8 p.m. This competition was open to all non-professional hobby winemakers throughout the state.
 
Rock Ledge Ranch Workday
Sat. Feb 20, 8:00 – 12:00 pm
Join Rock Ledge Ranch and Colorado Springs Fire Department’s Wildland Fire team for a morning of oak brush mitigation.  This volunteer effort will help provide critical wildfire mitigation to help protect ranch buildings and support a healthy oak brush ecosystem.
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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.