News Wednesday May 26, 2021

Get Out - Spread Out
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. Temperatures and congestion at trailheads begin to heat up. When the pandemic led to park and trail closures in other parts of the country, TOSC created “Get Out – Spread Out”. Residents needed safer, less crowded options for their physical and mental health. So we made a list (and videos) of less popular hikes, walks and bike rides in all corners of our community plus some in Douglas County.
With Covid cases diminishing, it’s less about safety to users and more about improving your outdoor experience. To avoid crowds this summer and preview some new places, check out our website.
 
You have 100+ to choose from!

PARK AND TRAIL News

Fire Restrictions
Know before you go! Information on fire restrictions and bans can change rapidly. The most current information should be obtained from your local county sheriff or the forest service.
When camping, best practice is to use an existing fire ring in a well-placed campsite. Keep the fire small and burning only for the time you are using it. Allow wood to burn completely to ash. Put out fires with water, not dirt. Dirt may not completely extinguish the fire. Avoid building fires next to rock outcrops where the black scars will remain for many years.
Get fire restriction info: coemergency.com/p/fire-bans
 
 
 
Seasonal Park Maintenance Positions
Love working outside? El Paso County Parks is hiring for Seasonal Park Maintenance Positions, for June to September.
Apply now to work outdoors in beautiful Colorado!
 
Trail Crew Season
In 2020, volunteer workdays were hard to find. Many Friends Groups and agencies elected to not host workdays to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.
Almost six months into 2021, optimism of a more complete trailwork season can be felt across the region. The roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination and improving numbers regarding community spread has allowed more Friends Groups to feel comfortable hitting the trails again. Evidence of this can be found in Ute Valley Park. The Friends of Ute Valley Park have been hard at work since the end of March having their Wednesday evening work sessions. Although group size is still limited, these small groups of volunteers are making a huge impact through fire mitigation, trail repair and restoration work. To learn more about the evening workdays in Ute Valley Park, click here. If you have a desire to participate in a volunteer workday in an open space in another part of the region, check out the TOSC Open Spaces Volunteer Calendar. There are over 100 workdays this summer, including everything from trail maintenance to trash pickups.
Rock Island Trail Closure
Beginning Thursday, May 27 through late August, the intersection of Constitution Avenue and Paseo
Road will close to all traffic to facilitate bridge maintenance work and improvements to a section of the
Rock Island Trail. Detours will be in place and travelers are encouraged to avoid the area. Rock Island Trail users will be detoured two blocks around the construction zone. In addition to bridge maintenance work, safety improvements will be made to the crossing of Rock Island Trail at Paseo Road, including providing a pedestrian refuge island and narrowing the crossing distance across Paseo Road. The project is funded by PPRTA and the city’s Bike Program.
TOPS 2022 Open Space Projects
TOPS requires 60% of the tax be used for open space purchases and stewardship…taking care of what we’ve purchased. In June the TOPS Working Committee and Parks Advisory Board will vote on proposed projects including the following:
  • Open Space Wayfinding Fabrication/Installation (signage Red Rock Open Space)
  • Corral Bluffs/Jimmy Camp Creek Building Demolition
  • Open Space Stewardship (rangers, land and resource management and education)
That will leave $3.4 million for potential open space purchases in 2022. If you’d like to listen in to the TOPS WC and/or Parks Advisory Board meetings, you’ll find a link to agendas and information: coloradosprings.gov/parks/page/tops-working-committee and
 
 
Fishers Peak State Park – Closed Indefinitely
Colorado’s newest state park is now closed to visitors due to weather-related damage. Heavy rain last weekend badly damaged the parking lot at the trailhead creating unsafe conditions. State Park Officials say 5” of rain is causing trail erosion and blocking access. We’ll bring you an update when it reopens.

TOSC

Starlight Spectacular
Many of you have been contacting us about our annual community bike ride, the Starlight Spectacular. Each June for 25 years we’ve donned costumes, lit up our bikes and cycled the streets of Colorado Springs. Last year we cancelled due to COVID and once again this year there will be no Starlight Spectacular. It’s still a challenging time to secure sponsorships and enough riders to make it both fun and a fund-raiser. And yes, we love the event too! We promise to look at community-event options for 2022 that honor our mission, make money for the organization and provide a spectacular experience for participants.
Do you love our trails, parks and open spaces as much as our Members? If so, consider joining our Coalition. Hear from long-time member Dan Foster about why he thinks it’s important to support TOSC’s work.
 
What’s a Fun Fact About You? Our family moved from southern California to Colorado Springs in the mid 1950’s when it was a small burg with a population of 45,006 (including the 6 of us). After going away to college, I came back to the front range and we’ve lived in Manitou Springs since 1983- our two kids went k-12 in the great local school system, and we ran the Mountain Chalet outdoor shop for 30 (odd!) years before retiring.
 
What is Your Favorite Trail/Park? Any chance there is (and being retired I get a lot of chances) find me on the nearby Paul Intemann Nature Trail or one of the many stellar connecting trails and loops of Red Rock Canyon Open Space to get outside, exercise, greet neighbors, strangers, and their dogs, and just chill out enjoying mother nature away from the fray for a while.
 
Why Do You Support TOSC? Personally and as a businessman I have supported TOSC as a member over the years because of their stewardship in protecting the interests of this areas huge outdoor community. There is a lot of local love for these hard fought and earned trail networks, parks and protected open spaces- look at the full parking lots!
TOSC is our advocate on all-things-trails. They go to meetings (so we don’t have to), work everyday on outdoor issues and policies, relay information of interest on a regular basis in their newsletter, and multi task galore to our benefit.
If you enjoy the use of the gems we have in trails, open space and parks give back and support the efforts of TOSC, on your behalf, through a membership.
TOSC Virtual Trail Mixer: Urban Trail Safety
Tue. June 15, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
 
Bike theft at trailheads is becoming a common trend. Learn how to protect your bike and property at trailheads with CSPD. Plus, Colorado Springs TOPS Rangers dish out tips for how to recreate safely on our urban trails, identify dangers and report issues. Registration for this free event is limited!
 

Community

Volunteer at Ute Valley Park
Wed. June 2, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Join Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates to repair tread and natural features on Rattle Rocks and Almond Butter Trails. Link to Register.
OR
Join the Friends of Ute Valley 5:30 – 7:30 for a volunteer work session to continue the Winding Woods reroute near the Popes Valley entrance. Link to Register.
 
WILDFLOWER WALK
Sat. June 5th, 10:00 – 12:00 PM
Join the friends of Monument Valley Park for beautiful wildflower walk Led by Carey Harrington, Colorado Native Plant Master. Meet at the West Fontanero Street parking lot of Monument Valley Park. If you are running late, head north to find us. No pets please! If raining, walk will be canceled. Due to COVID-19 concerns, participation is limited to twenty individuals. MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ALSO REQUIRED.
Please RSVP to info@fmvp.net.
Urban Water Cycle: Cottonwood Creek Trail
Sat. June 11 or Sun. Jun 12, 9:00 – 1:00 PM
 
FREE regional bike tour along Cottonwood Creek! Learn and connect to our local water and recreation resources on this 9-mile (mostly downhill) ride. Both tours start at Frank Costello Park, with a short ride to Cowpoke Flood Detention and Development. You will then ride downhill all the way to a creek restoration site on Monument Creek. With a short ride back uphill, you will end at Crit Cafe for our final speakers, networking and refreshments on your own.
 
Tour topics include:
  • What is stormwater?
  • How is Colorado Springs conserving water and planning for its future water supply?
  • How are community partners connecting neighborhoods to trails and creeks?
  • How do we ensure our water is clean and safe?
Beards, Bonnets & Brews Festival
Sat. June 12, 12:00 – 8:00 PM
Party like it’s 1871! This free family-friendly event will offer a smorgasbord of activity for people of all ages! History will mix with modern times at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
 where guests can enjoy:
*Beverage tastings from 30 local breweries & distilleries (Whiskey tasting punch card ONLINE ONLY – No on-site, day of purchases)
*Live music from a variety of local bands
*Games popular in the late 1800s
*Living history with actors playing historic roles
*Learn about and celebrate the history of Colorado Springs
*Compete for the title of Best Beard or Best Bonnet (or both!)
 
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