SPRING CLEANING HAPPENING THROUGHOUT EL PASO COUNTY
Springtime in the Rockies means melting snow and warm sunshine, but also reveals the oodles of trash that has collected along creeks and trails all winter long. It is time to roll up your sleeves, join your neighbors, and sign up for one of 20 cleanups taking place on Saturday April 24th across El Paso County.
The Great American Cleanup is a national event hosted by Keep American Beautiful that hopes to inspire thousands of citizens across the country to do their part and pick up a little trash. Basic cleanup supplies are provided, and volunteers are asked to wear a mask, gloves, and practice social distancing at the cleanups.
Trash poses all sorts of issues in our communities – besides being an eyesore and taking away from our beautiful setting, garbage can clog storm drains and cause backups, harm wildlife, and impact water quality not only locally but all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. As a headwaters state, we owe it to ourselves and to our downstream neighbors to be good stewards of our limited water supplies.
The Fountain Creek Watershed District is hosting a site – Monument Creek at Uintah. Volunteers at this site will be treated to Starbucks coffee and receive a coupon for a free beer or pretzel at Phantom Canyon Brewery.
Registration information can be found here: www.gacppp.com and sites are first-come, first-serve so sign up today!
PARK AND TRAIL News
Red Rock Canyon Open Space
ongoing and upcoming project updates:
· Waddles to prevent erosion will be installed along the landfill in the coming days.
· Next week, City Parks will begin hydro-mulching sections of Sand Creek, Red Rock Canyon, and Mesa trails to bring the trails back to a narrower and more sustainable width. Visitors can expect to see equipment on the trail and mulch material will remain on the trail until the grass germinates. Please stay off the mulch and the seeds/sprouting grass. Temporary signage will be placed at select trail junctures.
· The new Greenlee trail alignment is cut, and the old roadbed is closed. Work is continuing on the Sand Canyon and Contemplative trail intersection, as is the bike ramp near the Sand Canyon lot.
Sesame Canyon Trail
Eric Swab is a local trail historian and has wonderful stories about the origins of many of our popular trails. Some like the Sesame Trail are no longer accessible but nevertheless offer a peek into our past.
Eric will also be presenting Three Trails That Ring Cheyenne Mountain; Three ‘Tails’ of Bribery, Provocation and Infidelity for the Historical Preservation Alliance on Thur. April 15, 6:30 PM via Zoom – ADVANCE RESERVATIONS required.
Poudre Wilderness Volunteers
We know many of our TOSC members hike trails throughout the state. Here’s an opportunity to help a Colorado trails organization committed to restoring trails lost in last summer’s horrific Cameron Peak fire. The Cameron Peak fire burned over 208,000 acres of the Roosevelt National Forest. There are 122 miles of trails within the burned area, of which over 42 miles are severely damaged. Donations from the Reopen Your Favorite Trails GoFundMe campaign will be used to support these trail restoration efforts.
For more information or to make a donation please visit www.pwv.org.
POSTPONED due to weather. Please join us on
Sat. May 8th, 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Did you know, up to 23 million fecal bacteria can be found in just 1 gram of dog doody? If not disposed of properly, pet waste can be carried into local waterways negatively impacting drinking water and the natural ecosystem. That’s why this weekend, TOSC will be at Stratton Open Space, Seven Bridges, Bear Creek Regional Park (East), Blodgett Open Space, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, and Yucca Flats at Palmer Park educating trail users and rewarding anyone who returns a bag of dog waste with a chance to win 1 of 40 $50 gift certificates to a local business!
Huge thank you to Heuberger Subaru for sponsoring this event
and supporting local businesses.
Member Spotlight: Melissa Williams
Fun fact about you: When I’m not working or hiking, you can find me renovating our 1960’s home with my husband – which we took down to the studs and rebuilt ourselves in 2020.
What do our local parks and trails mean to you? Our local parks and trails help me to escape the stress of everyday life, unwind and reconnect – both with nature and myself. It’s an additional form of therapy for me.
Why is it important to support TOSC? Supporting TOSC helps important conservation programs like Get Out Spread Out, Care for Colorado and Leave No Trace, helping us combat overcrowding, littering and trail erosion. They help educate people to know how to be good stewards of our beautiful spaces so we can enjoy them for generations.
What is your favorite trail/park? I absolutely love Catamount Falls Trail. It’s got beautiful scenic views and varying landscapes with an amazing payoff when you reach the reservoir at the end.
How long have you lived in the Pikes Peak Region? I’ve lived in the Pikes Peak region for 21 years. I may not be a “native” but I got here as soon as I could!
Thank you to all of our members that have already joined the coalition. If you have not joined, and would like to become a member,
Some Perks of Membership:
- Amplify Your Voice – There is power in numbers
- Join us on one of our Member Only hikes or bike rides
- Meet other fellow trail advocates at our Member Trail Mixers and our Annual Member Celebration
- Get a Member Sticker to show your support
- Learn about stewardship opportunities
2020 Annual Report
TOSC was able to do great things in 2020, thanks to generous support from our community. Read a few of the stories about our advocacy, membership, events and stewardship programs TOSC was a part of last year. Get a better idea of what we do, who gives to our cause, and why membership matters.
Thanks to Dave Meyer for using his graphic design skills to help TOSC put out a beautiful Annual Report!
Issue 1 Wins – What’s Next?
One week ago 66% of COS voters agreed to eliminate the 30-word limit for ballot language. Remarkable because when the question was polled a few months ago it did not poll well. Thanks to support from groups like Pikes Peak Pickleball, Friends of Garden of the Gods, PPORA, Friends of Cheyenne Mtn. State Park, RMFI, MWTA, Pikes Peak Marathon, COS Chamber and EDC, So. CO Women’s Chamber, Visit COS, Downtown Partnership, HBA, Assn of Realtors, TPL, plus strong leadership from individuals – Mayor John Suthers, Councilmembers Richard Skorman and Wayne Williams, Rachel Beck, Anthony Carlson and Conor Hall – we won!
Now we can take a TOPS increase to voters in November and adequately explain the proposal! Councilmembers Skorman and Strand have formed the President’s Parks Sustainability Commission. TOSC is represented. We will be answering 3 questions: length of extension, how much of an increase and how should the % be changed to meet current and future needs. Currently 60% of TOPS must be used to purchase and steward open space. Up to 20% can be used to build and maintain ant city parks and up to 20% to build and maintain TOPS trails.
We strive to be your eyes, ears and voice for trails, parks and open space. Watch for articles about TOPS and the opportunity to share your opinion. 150 years ago General William Palmer started more than a city. He created a legacy of parks and paths still cherished today. Now it’s our turn to make that legacy our own.
Virtual Liquid Lecture: Plastic Pollution, Colorado and the Ocean
Thurs. April 15, 6:00 – 7:00 PM on Zoom
Learn about the history and issues of plastic pollution, current efforts to combat it, and ways you can make a difference even if you don’t see the ocean every day. Presentation by guest speaker Melissa Jung, Inland Ocean Coalition.
Email email@example.com to register, get Zoom link, and beer coupon from Atrevida Beer Co!
Trail Love – Upper Codell
Tue. April 20, 4:00 – 9:00 pm
Join MWTA at Red Rock Canyon Open Space for an evening of trail love and maintenance. The general goal of rockwork on Upper Codell is to keep the trail narrow and challenging. Sign up to help! (If the work day is full, you can sign up to be on a wait list.)
More info at medwheel.org/volunteer.
Motorless Morning at GOG
Sat. April 24, 5:00 – 12:00 PM
Motorless Morning is back! Visitors are invited to experience the Garden in a unique, quiet setting. Park roads will be open to foot traffic, bicycles, and small wheel transport, allowing users to spread out and recreate on roads without cars. The event is free and open to the public! At noon, the park reopens to motor vehicles.
If you want to volunteer for this event, please contact John.Stark@coloradosprings.gov.
Spring Fling Poker 5K Ride and Run
Sat, April 24, 2021 8:30 – 12:00 PM
It’s time for the annual Spring Fling Poker 5K Ride and Run at Bear Creek! All proceeds directly benefit the building and maintenance of YOUR Equestrian Skills Course. High- and low-hand prizes for each trail user group – horses, pack burros, bicycles, hikers/walkers and runners. All ages welcome. New special game for kids. Tickets are only $20 in advance or $30 day of event.
Congratulations Christine Thomas!!
At the April Parks Advisory Board meeting a TOSC Member was honored as Volunteer of the Year. Christine Thomas is a force of nature. Never afraid to tackle tough issues, she helped secure the now eastern portion of Ute Valley Park through community engagement and fund-raising. She helped form the first Friends of Ute Valley park and continues to coordinate volunteer projects to improve trails, close rogue trails and remove invasive weeds. Congratulations to Christine Thomas on this well-deserved honor. The best way to thank Christine? Show up for a volunteer project.