News Wednesday May 5, 2021

Get Out; Get Healthy
Connecting people to trails, parks and open spaces to improve physical activity
 
The Trails and Open Space Coalition has partnered with Peak Vista, Children’s Hospital Colorado – Colorado Springs, and GE Johnson to present a new program aimed at increasing outdoor recreation in underserved communities. Physicians are increasingly offering physical activity counseling and prescribing walks, hikes or bike rides to their patients. But not all residents are familiar with local outdoor recreation resources, and therefore do not take advantage of our extensive network of parks and trails. TOSC has produced a bilingual brochure and webpage highlighting 20, 40 and 60 minute, easy to moderate, walks, hikes and bike rides for Peak Vista and Children’s Hospital Colorado to share with at-risk patients. TOSC also has plans to host community bike rides and hikes to introduce new users to our trails, parks and open spaces and increase their comfort in becoming regular trail users.
 

 

PARK AND TRAIL News

Sinton Trail Update
A portion of the Sinton Trail has been closed at Holland Park Boulevard with a detour in place taking users along a short stretch of Vondelpark Drive. While inconvenient, this detour was put in place due to the hazard caused by the failure of the north bank of South Douglas Creek and loss of support beneath the asphalt trail surface.
The process of getting the required design, permits, and contracts in place should be completed by the end of May and city staff anticipate work beginning during the first week in June. During this repair effort, the asphalt trail surface will be removed and extensive work will be performed to restore the creek channel. The next phase will be to restore the trail, which could potentially mean upgrading to a more modern and sustainable design.
Some trail users are disregarding the marked detour and continuing to use this section of trail. We encourage our trail users to please honor the trail closure.
Pikes Peak Crew Leader Training
Over the weekend, TOSC teamed up with City Park Staff, RMFI and Friends of the Peak to put on the Pikes Peak Crew Leader Training. This annual training helps to propel volunteers to the next level of trail stewardship. Among the participants was TOSC’s Office Manager, Sharie Dodge. Sharie was able to collaborate with passionate volunteers from Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates (MWTA), Guardians of Palmer Park, Friends of Ute Valley Park, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) and TOPS Rangers. Participants built upon their base knowledge of trail maintenance and restoration while engaging as not just another volunteer, but as a leader. “It can be difficult to transition from a hands-on volunteer to a crew leader. It’s taking on the responsibility of organizing and supervising rather than doing. It requires a lot of multitasking and communication to ensure volunteers understand and accomplish workday tasks; and a great deal of awareness to ensure it is done in a safe and entertaining manner. Huge thank you to everyone involved! I learned a lot and truly appreciate our amazing trail community.” – Sharie
Closure at North Cheyenne Cañon Park
Mon. May 3 – May 28, 2021
City Park Services will be working on improving and expanding the large gravel parking lot at the west end of North Cheyenne Cañon Park (N. Cheyenne Cañon Road, High Drive, and Gold Camp Road; just uphill from Helen Hunt Falls). The gravel lot and Gold Camp Road will be closed to vehicles. Recreational users can still access 7 Bridges, St. Mary’s Buckhorn, Captain Jacks, Gold Camp (the closed sections) and High Drive, but parking will be limited. Trail users are encouraged to park around the Starsmore center to hike or bike into the park, and are also encouraged to visit other parks during this time. The City will be actively patrolling for illegally parked cars, which may be ticketed or towed at the owners expenses.
Also, please note a portion of Gold Camp Road (north of the Chutes and Ladders trailhead) is closed to vehicles due to a large boulder blocking the road. Visitors are asked to avoid the area until the boulder is removed and the road deemed safe for travel.

TOSC

Scoop the Poop Challenge
Sat. May 8th, 9:00 – 12:00 pm
 
TOSC and Subaru have teamed up to clean up: Bear Creek Park, Blodgett Open Space, Palmer Park, Red Rock Canyon, Stratton and Ute Valley Park. TOSC staff and volunteers will be stationed at trailheads to education and challenge trail users to scoop the poop! Anyone who returns a full bag of poo will have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to a fabulous local business. Thanks to Heuberger Subaru, we will be giving away 40 gift cards to participants that SCOOP THE POOP!
 
Check out our Facebook Event for more info.
Virtual Trail Mixer: E-BIKES
Tues. May 11, 5:30 – 7:30pm
E-bikes are coming to more trails and public spaces. Be a part of the conversation and get more info from our guest speakers:
– Colorado Springs City Staff will discuss their pilot program to introduce e-bikes to our trail network
– Advocate from Fort Collins, Platinum Bike-Friendly community, will share how e-bikes are viewed in their community
– Long time e-bike user will share why certain populations benefit from access to e-bikes
 
Registration is LIMITED to 100 people.
TOPS Poll Part 2
This week, some of you are receiving phone calls and emails asking questions about parks, trails and open spaces (TOPS). TOSC is one of the organizations behind this poll. We encourage you to let the community know how you feel about these public spaces.
Why another poll? As you may recall, there was a community poll last December to measure voters’ willingness to consider an extension and increase to the TOPS tax. It didn’t turn out well. The pollster determined the restrictive, 30-word ballot language led to the poor results. Now that Issue 1 has passed, we have the opportunity to ask some of the same questions, but provide more information; like: how much a tax increase would cost the average household and what kind of park projects could receive money. The survey results will help guide the work of the President’s Parks Sustainability Commission.
Springtime is the perfect time to become a TOSC member! Your membership fee funds our advocacy and stewardship efforts. Learn why Ann is passionate about being a TOSC member.
Member Spotlight: Walt Hecox
Fun fact about you: Few are as privileged as I have been to direct their job towards the outdoors; for 43 years as a Colorado College economics and environmental policy faculty member I helped students study and get out into our spectacular backyard – from Pikes Peak to around Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. Academic theories quickly cease being “right or wrong” when students confront stakeholders and complex issues of outdoors sustainability. Ten years spent inventing and leading the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project helped broadcast how special and fragile our outdoors really are. Upon retirement my Rockies Project focus on 180 counties in 8 states narrowed down to the 3 county Pikes Peak region! Having helped initiate the El Pomar Foundation Pikes Peak Heritage Series, I am now focused on the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance- what a rewarding target for my efforts to protect our outdoors.
What do our local parks and trails mean to you? It may seem strange, but as an economist I see our outdoors as an economic asset, fueling the high quality of life we have. Streams, mountains, parks, trails, all make Colorado Springs so unique! The danger is that we “take them for granted” and engage in benign neglect.
What is your favorite trail/park? Cheyenne State Park; a great resource along our wildland urban interface.
Why is it important to support TOSC? Covid is teaching us just how overwhelmed our recreation resources are and now scarce are funds and peoplepower to maintain the Pikes Peak region’s recreation. TOSC stands out as a successful nonprofit, one among many that help stem the tide of loving our outdoors to death and helping plan for a sustainable future.
How long have you lived in the Pikes Peak Region? I was born in Denver and went “away” to Colorado College in 1960; in 1970 I returned to Colorado Springs to teach and enjoy our Pikes Peak massif.
 
 
TOSC members like Walt care about the preservation of our outdoor spaces. 
Join the coalition to help preserve, connect and improve our network of trails, parks and open spaces. 
 

Community

 
Yoga in the Park
May 6th and May 20th, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM 
Join Jessica Watson and UpaDowna for an hour of outdoor yoga at Nancy Lewis Park.
 
Get Outside – Expert Series
Thu. May 6, 2021 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Kinship Landing is hosting a casual, open air, safely masked shindig filled with outdoor loving people! Get the inside scoop on how to make the most of getting outside this Spring in the Pikes Peak Region. Local experts will share stories and insight; enjoy giveaways and discounted libations!
 
Bicycle-Friendly Drivers
Wed. May 12, 6:00 PM via Zoom
FREE Bicycle-Friendly Drivers online training, hosted by Bicycle Colorado! Learn about laws and safe practices for both road users, how to navigate on-street bicycle infrastructure and how to avoid common crashes between drivers and bicyclists. After the webinar, participants will complete an exam and those who pass will be emailed a certificate to demonstrate their new knowledge. Through evaluations, all ages and levels of drivers (and bicyclists!) have shared that they benefited from the course and that content should be mandatory for everyone on our roads.
Outdoor Safety Virtual Talk
Tue. May 18, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Learn how to keep your kids safe on outdoor adventures summer! Presented by Aaron Provance, Director of Pediatric Sports Medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado, seasoned mountaineer, mountain biker, skier, outdoor advocate, and father of triplets. Get expert tips for planning fun summer excursions that are safe and realistic for the whole family. Zoom link will be sent out to registered attendees one day prior to the event.
 
Camp in Chaffee County? The Bureau of Land Management Wants To Hear From You!
If you camped in Chaffee County last summer, you know how crowded it was in many wilderness areas. The BLM has concerns about the human impact on some of its wild areas and is asking campers to share their observations as they create a Camping and Travel Management Plan. Deadline to comment is May 20th.
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