Update on the TOPS Initiative
November 2nd is election day! Just two months away. You’ll get your mail-in ballot by mid-October.
To learn more about the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) initiative that will extend and expand the program: www.trailsopenspaceparks.com and consider supporting the campaign with your time and/or treasure.
The November ballot will include state, county and city initiatives. One question will focus on wildfire mitigation and prevention. Our proximity to Pike National Forest contributes to our quality of life. It also increases the risk of forest fires. Over the years we’ve had good examples of how a well-managed forest reduces the risk for nearby homes. During the Waldo Canyon fire, forest mitigation that had been done in the Cedar Heights neighborhood was credited with saving homes. More recently, forest management performed by city forestry near Bear Creek Park led to quick containment of a wildfire.
PARK AND TRAIL News
TABOR Refund Would Provide Funding For Forest Management
In November voters will be asked to forgo a TABOR refund and allow up to 20 million dollars to fund regional forest management. If passed, each year up to 5% (one million) of those dollars will be used for mitigation and prevention. By only using a percentage of the fund, the program could continue two decades without raising taxes. COS fire would manage the program. It would allow them to accomplish 2-3 times what they are currently doing.
Daniel’s Pass Trails Update
The current trails in North Cheyenne Canon Park will close beginning Sept 7th to allow for construction of 6.5 miles of new trail scheduled to open in October.
The existing, unsustainable trails in Daniels Pass will be decommissioned by RMFI. The Broadmoor land exchange resulted in an expansion of North Cheyenne Canon Park and allowed for construction of the new Daniels Pass Trail, Sweetwater Canyon Trail and a 1/3 of a mile hiking-only connector trail to Mt. Muscoco. Funding was provided by a State Trails Grant, TOPS Trails dollars, Friends of North Cheyenne Canon and support from the PPORA Stewardship fund. We will provide photos of the new trails and an opening date when available.
Stratton Open Space
TOPS funds have protected large chunks of the landscape around Colorado Springs. The first open space that TOPS funds were used to purchase and protect was Stratton Open Space. Located in southwestern Colorado Springs next to North Cheyenne Canon Park, Stratton Open Space provides the community with over 300 acres of trails and rich wildlife habitat. The highlights of this open space include views of two Colorado Springs Utilities managed reservoirs (one is open for dogs to use), world class mountain biking trails and five different ecosystems that are a wildlife watchers dream. To learn more about Stratton Open Space, click here. To read more about the impact of the TOPS program in Colorado Springs, click here.
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.
The Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) advocates for the creation and conservation of an interconnected network of trails, parks and open spaces across the Pikes Peak region.
Our mission: Connect Trails – Preserve Open Space – Fund Parks
If you support TOSC, please consider purchasing some apparel to help our organization!