News Wednesday August 25, 2021

Waldo Canyon Update

What’s new with Waldo Canyon? We get that question a lot. The good news, the city secured trailhead parking when TOPS purchased the Black Canyon Quarry, no longer operational. TOPS Staff is currently focusing on reclamation with the state and previous owners. A future public planning process will determine how trail users will access Waldo Canyon from the parking lot. The TOPS initiative on the November ballot could speed up the process of planning and implementation by providing funding – if successful.


Sand Creek Trail @ Wildflower Park
Over the past few months, Colorado Springs Utilities has been working on a project near Wildflower Park, requiring a short detour of the Sand Creek Trail. We would like to thank CSU for the well-marked and easy to navigate detours used throughout the construction project.
This is from CSU Construction Outreach Manager:
“Great news! Colorado Springs Utilities has nearly completed work at Sand Creek downstream of the East Fork confluence, where we converted two existing grouted-boulder structures to much-more-stable drop structures. Our contractor, Tezak Construction, did this work as part of our continuous effort to protect our pipelines near or in waterways. Thanks especially to users of the Sand Creek Trail, who were very cooperative with our safety detours on the trail!”
Watch for update on social media, we will let you know once the detour is removed and the Sand Creek Trail returned to its normal route.

NEW Bike Lanes
Check out the newest addition to Weber Street, bike lanes! A local resident share why it is so great:
“They provide a safe route to school and neighborhood businesses for all families in the area. We no longer have to bike on the sidewalk to feel safe riding with our kids. They also provide extra room to get in and out of cars in an area where many people have to park on the street. Crossing the street at intersections is easier without four lanes of traffic to contend with. Best of all they help reduce excessive speeding by bringing Weber to a single lane in each direction which is much more appropriate for the typical traffic volume of this residential street. A great infrastructure improvement for all types of users.”
Elevate Your Voice
   Elevate the Peak–a new initiative led by Palmer Land Conservancy and other regional nonprofits–is hitting the virtual streets to listen and learn from you. This initiative seeks to better understand how Coloradans of all ages, backgrounds, and identities use our outdoor spaces, and what excites, inspires, and concerns residents. Share your thoughts about land conservation and outdoor recreation in the Pikes Peak region.
Bluestem Prairie Open Space
Want to see pronghorn and burrowing owls in Colorado Springs city limits? Then the 646 acres of open prairie at Bluestem Prairie Open Space is what you are looking for. Located in southeast Colorado Springs near the Colorado Springs Airport, Bluestem features a 9 mile lollipop loop near Big Johnson Reservoir. This trail system is perfect for beginner mountain bikers! The big highlights of this open space is are the amazing wildflowers in the warmer months and over 200 species of birds that migrate through in the spring and fall. Due to abundant wildlife in the area, Dogs are NOT allowed. This open space would have likely been lost to development if it were not for TOPS.
County TABOR Cap on November Ballot
This week El Paso County Commissioners voted to place the TABOR Cap and retaining 15 million in excess revenue on the November ballot. 2 Million would support county parks and trails projects and address deferred maintenance. The remaining 13 million would be used to improve county roads.
When we pay our annual El Paso County property and sales taxes, an average of $2.93 per person per year actually supports the county parks budget from the general fund – the lowest along the Front Range.
Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent
Congratulations to all the runners who completed the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent! And a hearty thank you to Ron Ilgen and his staff for providing world-class races for local as well as international runners. The Pikes Peak Marathon is the oldest continually held marathon in the U.S. Organizers use
some of the proceeds to support the Barr Trail as well and support partners committed to trail maintenance and advocacy – like TOSC.
And if any runners are looking for a trail run to stay fit, check out our Two Shoes Trek Challenge in Fox Run Park on Sept 11th. Touted as “the Greenest race in Town”, proceeds will be shared between TOSC and Pikes Peak Road Runners.


Trail Volunteers Needed
Sat. Aug 28, 8:00 – 11:00 AM
This Saturday, join TOSC, Friends of Monument Preserve, Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates and the APEX Team for some trail work! Meet at the main trailhead, at the corner of Mt. Herman Road and Nursery Road. After sign in and orientation, we will head up Mt. Herman Road to FS 715. Crews will focus on repairing erosion, improving the trail for long term sustainability, and trimming back scrub oak. Please bring work gloves, sunscreen, water and snacks.
To register for this workday, please email
Crew’s Gulch & Fountain Creek Ramble
Sun Aug. 29, 8:00 – 11:00 AM
We truly believe, third time’s the charm! We’ve rescheduled the Crew’s Gulch & Fountain Creek Regional Trail ride for this coming Sunday. This 12 mile ride will include stops at Widefield Community Park, Fountain Creek Nature Center and the recently opened Hanson Trailhead. We have special guests Ross Williams, El Paso County Parks Planner, and Jerry Cordova, Stormwater Specialist with the City of Colorado Springs and TOSC Board member. They will be covering a number of projects along the trail corridors and this will be a ride not to miss!
To find out more and register at:
Get Out Get Healthy Scavenger Hunt
Sat Sept. 11, 9:00 – 12:00 PM
The Trails and Open Space Coalition and Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs have joined together to encourage families to get out and explore their neighborhood parks! Join us for a Community Scavenger Hunt at John Venezia Park. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Participants will be given the choice of several scavenger hunt routes, ranging in distance, throughout the park.
After the scavenger hunt, visit the Bunkhouse Pavilion, where we will be joined by several of our community partners, including: Miles the Broncos Mascot, Ziggy the Switchbacks Mascot, experts from the Butterfly Pavilion, Pikes Peak Library District staff and live music from Melange.
Registration is recommended. All registered participants will be guaranteed a goody-bag! All other participants will receive a bag while supplies last. Last day to register is Wednesday, Sept. 8.
Two Shoes Trek Challenge
Sat. Sept 4 – 11, 2021
The Two Shoes Trek Challenge, on September 11th at Fox Run Regional Park, strives to be the greenest 5k/10k/30k race in the Pikes Peak Region! TOSC and the Pikes Peak Road Runners have adapted the race to have less of an impact on the landscape. Runners will receive reusable collapsible cups replacing the need for paper cups at water stations. To cut down on the amount of carbon released in our air, runners are encouraged to carpool to Fox Run Regional Park. After the race, participants are asked to find a park cleanup or workday in our community to help offset any impact they had on the environment while traveling to and from the race. Throughout race day, the seven Leave No Trace Principles will be followed with the goal of having a race that leaves no lasting impact.


Tejon Street Improvements
The City of Colorado Springs is working with the Downtown Colorado Springs Partnership to make our downtown more connected, safe and accessible! Thanks to a “Revitalizing Streets” grant from C-DOT, Tejon Street, one of the most active downtown streets will undergo several improvements to help to increase safety and accessibility between Colorado Ave and East Kiowa St. The $1.6 million grant will go towards widen sidewalks, provide safe infrastructure for bikes and scooters, accommodate stops for the new Downtown shuttle, and safely address needs of delivery and ride-hail vehicles.
Watershed Art Show
Entries due Wed. Aug 25
As a lead-up to the Creek Week Cleanup and Arts Month, Carter Payne will be hosting an art exhibition telling the story of watershed health. Media of any sort may be entered, ideas for submission include wildlife or nature photography, trash art, or the people-watershed connection. Pieces must come ready to hang on the wall. Awards for top 3 displays! All requests for entries must be emailed to by August 25th.
Learn more at
Stratton Open Space BioBlitz
Aug 27 – 29, 8:00 – 2:00 PM
The City of Colorado Springs Regional Parks division is hosting a BioBlitz at Stratton Open Space. 3-day event for scientists, naturalists, and community volunteers to work together to get a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity. Participants will recording all the flora, fauna, and fungi they can find via the iNaturalist app. Collected data is analyzed and used for land management planning and trend monitoring. Guided hikes will be offered Aug 28th and 29th.
Honeybee Celebration Day @ Bear Creek
Sat. August 28, 10:00 – 1:00 PM
Bees and other pollinators are responsible for many wonderful things in our lives. Come to the Nature Center to see bees in action at the observation hive! Learn about their impact on our environment and why they are so important. Several activities and crafts for all to enjoy. $1 donation per person suggested.
For more information or to preregister,
call Bear Creek Nature Center, 719-520-6387 or
Fine Art America
Our friend Hiking Bob has entered the Fine Art America photo contest. Help support this local park advocate by voting for his photos to be featured on billboards across the country.
More info and links at
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