News Wednesday March 10, 2021

Hiking with Dogs
Dogs are great hiking buddies! TOSC loves dogs and responsible owners that help keep wildlife safe and our outdoors pristine. As we head into beautiful Spring weather, we just want to remind everyone to prepare before hitting the trail with your canine companion(s).
Know the rules and regulations before you go, make sure that you AND your pet are allowed in the area you want to visit. Certain areas don’t allow dogs or require them to be on leash; these rules or laws are in place for a reason. It could be to protect a delicate ecosystem, or to help ensure all outdoor users are safe and able to enjoy the environment. If you are going to a trail or park, find out what time of day (or week) it is the least crowded so you can have more room with your furry friend.
Please be sure to have bags to pick up your pet’s waste, and pack it out. If it was just a handful of dogs pooping in our parks and trails it might not be a big deal, but over 63 million households in the US have dogs which means millions of dogs are visiting, and pooping in, our shared spaces. Unlike the waste of wild animals, pet waste is considered an environmental pollutant and health hazard because it is likely to contain a variety of parasites, bacteria, and other diseases. Dozen of poo filled bags are left behind by well intended owners, getting a pack for you pooch is a great way to avoid littering.
Find info about Dog Parks and Off-Leash Areas in the Pikes Peak Region.

PARK AND TRAIL News

Friends Support Parks
Love parks? Want to help make them better? Then the Friends Groups of southwestern Colorado Springs are perfect for you. A Friends Group is a collection of passionate volunteers who support their agency in the care of their beloved wild places. The Friends of Bear Creek Dog Park work hard keeping one of the nation’s best dog parks clean. Further south, the Friends of Stratton Open Space offer workdays in their park feature trail repair and removal of invasive species. The Friends of Cheyenne Canon are one of the oldest Friends Groups in the region and offer volunteer work ranging from trail workdays to cleanups to other special events that raise funds to support North Cheyenne Canon Park. Have you ever heard of the Trail Dogs (trail maintenance) or the Timber Tigers (wildfire mitigation)? Those are two amazing volunteer programs of the Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park. If volunteering in nature centers is what you desire, then the Friends of the El Paso County Nature Centers has volunteer roles at the Fountain Creek Nature Center and at the Bear Creek Nature Center. Every open space deserves to have good friends. Find the group that works best for you and get involved this year!
Pikes Peak Summit Complex
Just 14 weeks of work remain on the Summit Complex, the new Pikes Peak Visitor Center is expected to be complete by early summer 2021! New indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits will educate visitors about the mountain’s history, climate and geography, recreational opportunities, conservation initiatives, and more. The exhibit gallery inside the Summit Complex will include interactive digital features that will bring the mountain to life and allow visitors to weave their own personal experiences into the mountain’s story. Outside, interpretive rails around the summit will describe the environment and the views, identify key landscape features.
Learn more at coloradosprings.gov.

TOSC

Getting to know TOSC Staff

Susan Davies, Executive Director
How Long with TOSC: I joined TOSC in August 2009. After 30 years as a broadcast journalist, I longed for a change. One of my favorite environment story sources let me know he was retiring. After grumbling about losing Dan Cleveland, my husband suggested I apply for Dan’s job and a few months later I completed my last TV live shot and began my new position as TOSC’s Executive Director. It truly has been the most challenging and rewarding job I’ve ever held.
 
Interesting Tidbit: During my years in TV news, I had some awesome assignments including a flight in an F-16 and a week at an auto racing camp where we learned how to take corners and drive fast.
 
Why I’m Passionate About Trails and Open Spaces: I’ve never lived anywhere like this. Just minutes from downtown we can be on trails surrounded by thick woods, great rock formations and imagine we are in the heart of the Rockies. I want that experience for the generations that follow.
 
Favorite Place to Hike: I love Monument Preserve because it has great trees, a very impressive rock, a sweet little pond and lovely trails. Some years there’s even a prairie falcon we call “Penelope” who makes her nest in the rock.
Issue 1
The list of organizations supporting Issue 1 (30 word limit on ballot language) continues to grow:
Downtown Partnership
Pikes Peak Pickle ball Association
Friends of Garden of the Gods
Pikes Peak Outdoor Rec. Alliance
Visit COS
Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC
HBA
Colorado Springs Forward
Why are groups supporting Issue 1? They believe voters in Colorado Springs deserve ballot language that provides accountability and transparency….like every other voter in Colorado. Mayor John Suthers explains it this way:” Government owes its citizens an explanation. When government asks the people to consider voting for something, voters deserve a thorough explanation of where the money will be spent and how they’ll be assured it was spent as they were promised.” For more information: www.yeson1CoS.com
 
Get more info Yeson1CoS.com.

Community

City Council Candidates
Learn about who is running to represent your district. Hear City Council Candidates discuss issues that impact you and your community. Listen in live by visiting FOX21news.com or check out the recordings afterwards. There is still time to submit questions for consideration- email info@citizensproject.org.
Wednesday, March 10: 12pm-1pm: District 4
Thursday, March 11: 12pm-1pm: District 1
 
Not sure which district you live in? Find your City Council district!
 
Stories on the Trail
Saturday, March 27, 9:00 – 4:00 PM
Nature walk meets story time! Visit Bear Creek Nature Center and experience a fun self-guided children’s story while walking along a trail. Free, no registration required!
 
 
 
Bicycle Friendly Community
The League of American Bicyclists is reviewing the City of Colorado Springs 2021 Bicycle Friendly Community application. To gain a better understanding of local bicyclists’ experiences in our community we are asking residents to complete a survey. This survey is meant to provide context for the decision-making process, as well as valuable feedback for you directly from bicyclists in our community. Award results for the Spring round will be announced in May.
Please take the survey before March 31.
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