Great Amereican Cleanup
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 America 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-served so sign up today!
PARK AND TRAIL News
Celebrate National Park Week
Few of us can drop everything and head to our closest National Park, although it is an appealing idea. Rocky Mountain National Park is 415 square miles and only 140 miles from COS with 300+ miles of hiking trails. (Reservations will be required to enter RMNP, May 28th – October 11th.) If you can’t escape this week, you can still celebrate. Download the app to learn more about your 400+ National Parks.
Other ways to celebrate:
- Pledge to take a conservation action each day for the remainder of the month. Learn how you can help.
- Check out TOSC’s new story map to learn about some of your favorite Parks in and around Colorado Springs. Some members of our community think America’s Mountain should become a National Park. Food for thought.
Spend your summer outdoors as a Volunteer Trail Ambassador at Rainbow Falls and the Paint Mines! Join TOSC and El Paso County Parks Staff on May 5th at 6:00pm on Zoom to learn more about the program and what to expect as a Trail Ambassador.
To register for this event, please click here.
New Trails in North Cheyenne Canon Park
Two new trails have been added to North Cheyenne Canon Park this winter. The first trail is 1/3 mile in length and connects the Upper Columbine Trail with parking area #21 along North Cheyenne Canon Road. This new connector is significant because this trail will connect the Columbine Trail to the new Daniels Pass Trail that will be constructed later this year. The Creekside Trail is another new trail and is located just a few hundred feet west of the Mid Columbine Trail Parking Area. This 1/3 mile trail connects the Mid-Columbine Trail to the Mount Cutler Trailhead. This trail is a significant addition because it allows users to park at any of the lower canyon parking areas and have access to the wildly popular Mount Cutler and Mount Muscoco Trails via the Columbine Trail/Creekside Trail.
Rx for Parks
This week Gazette reporter Mary Shinn took a closer look at Colorado Springs Parks and the backlog of critical needs. Price tag to fix? $270 million! Three things to consider as the community considers a Trails Open Space and Parks (TOPS) increase/extension:
-Some of the backlog like City Auditorium, Pioneers Museum and Community Centers aren’t TOPS projects.
-Parks and Open Space acquisition and development is listed at $123 million. It could be paid for over several decades if TOPS is extended.
-If we were to increase TOPS to .25%, (as they did in Denver), we could tackle TOPS projects twice as quickly. Trust for Public Land has crunched the numbers. A .25% TOPS tax would cost the average household $36 per year. Just over fifty cents per week.
We have between now and November to decide if our parks are worth it.
Scoop the Poop Challenge – RESCHEDULED
Sat. May 8th, 9:00 – 12:00 pm
Unfortunately, due to Thursday’s snowfall, we had to postpone the Scoop the Poop Challenge – a partnership between TOSC and Heuberger Subaru to rid six of our popular open spaces of dog waste. The event is being rescheduled for SATURDAY, MAY 8 from 9am – noon. Save the Date!
Check Out Facebook Event for more info!
Member Spotlight: James E. (Jim) Strub
Fun fact about you: I have lived in Colorado Springs since 1962, except for USAF assignments to Austin (doing PhD in Aerospace Engineering), Vietnam, Alabama, and Pentagon — a total of nine years away from here. So I have lived here 50 years total, during 30 years of which I spent thousands of hours in prison (Christian ministry) and thousands of hours on the Pikes Peak massif (hiking and as member of FOTP), became a mountain freak, having done (by the grace of God) about 800 14er ascents (all of those in Colorado plus Mt Whitney CA), 500 of them on Pikes Peak, with Mary (Ryan) Burger, did all the original route layout for RTP Trail. (See the original layout at Friends of the Peak’s website; TOSC is now managing the project and you can find the detailed plan at www.ringthepeaktrail.org)
What do our local parks and trails mean to you? From childhood, I have always walked or ridden a bike a lot; I didn’t have a car until I was 25 years old, so I was overjoyed to discover that the lot we built this house on has a 730-acre back yard called Palmer Park — our upper property line being the Palmer Park boundary at Grandview Overlook.
Why is it important to support TOSC? One can join TOSC for the many fun events they sponsor, but for me the main reason is to support TOSC’s proactive stance in local trail matters — and I count on the TOSC newsletter to keep me informed.
How long have you lived in the Pikes Peak Region? See above, plus: by the grace of God, still functioning and climbing (slowly), celebrating birthday #92.
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.
Sustainability and Innovation in
Fri. April 23, 12:00 – 1:00PM via Zoom
Colorado Springs has just created a more robust office of Innovation by bringing on a new Sustainability Coordinator. Learn more about what Samantha Bailey will be working toward and the general goals of the office in Establishing a Smart & Sustainable Future. This strategy wastes less, optimizes services to improve resident quality of life, and spurs socio-economic development while protecting and conserving the natural environment. Presenters: Josh Handley and Samantha Bailey, City of Colorado Springs.
Garden Plots Available!!
CHARMAINE NYMANN COMMUNITY GARDEN, ORGANIC GARDEN PLOTS
Located on two acres in Bear Creek Park, the garden consists of 104 full size plots. The garden is surrounded by a five-foot high fence with seven gates. The plot fees are $120 for a full-size plot (20 feet x 40 feet) and $75 for a half-size plot ( 20 feet x 20 feet). This fee includes the tilling of the garden by the El Paso County Parks Department in the early spring, the cost of water for the gardening season, and all other repair and maintenance expenses.
Interested? Call Karen (719) 634-4433 or Mary (719) 375-5224.
DUCKWOOD GARDENS, FOUNTAIN CREEK REGIONAL PARK
· 40 4×8 raised wooden beds
· 4 10×12 plots
· Fenced with 4 gates
· Close parking
· On-site water from 4 taps
$20 single 4’x8’ bed / $35 two 4’x8’ beds / $30 10’x12’ plot
Sign up for a plot:elpaso.extension.colostate.edu/duckwood-community-gardens
SPRINGS IN BLOOM
Springs in Bloom is a free City program where individuals, families, clubs and businesses can adopt one of the approximately 100 flower beds located throughout Colorado Springs. It’s a way to enhance this great City we live in. Flowers are provided by City Greenhouse in Monument Valley Park, volunteers plant and maintain the plot May – October. Applications due May 1st! Only a handful of plots left.
For more info, contact Donna: 578-6649 or Donna.Sanchez@coloradosprings.gov or Learn more online.