You can still vote
With voter turn-out extremely low, your vote really matters! Only 8% of Colorado voters have turned in their ballots. In El Paso County only 40,000 ballots have been returned.
Here’s how to vote:
To Register online: sos.state.co.us
You will need your Driver’s License Number and last 4 digits of your SSN. You will need to vote at a Voter Service and Polling Center at this late date.
Here’s an easier way. Colorado allows you to register to vote through Election Day. Visit a Voter Service and Polling Center to register in person and vote! Here’s a link to locations, dates and times: clerkandrecorder.elpasoco.com/elections/ballot-drop-boxes-vspc-locations
To make sure your vote counts, it’s too late to mail your ballot. Drop it off at any of the drop off locations. Find a drop-off box close to you.
Why is Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance Supporting 2C?
Becky Leinweber, Executive Director of PPORA put it this way in her letter to the Gazette:
TOPS is an Effective Program
I’m writing in support of ballot initiative 2C to extend and increase the TOPS tax from 1 to 2 pennies on a $10 purchase.
Our organization, the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance (PPORA), works to strengthen outdoor recreation, which is directly dependent on public lands. Outdoor use in our community has been increasing as more people are realizing the benefits, but we are not keeping up in terms of funding and infrastructure. The increase and extension of TOPS is a necessary and wise investment in our future:
· Parks, trails, and open spaces bring great value. In addition to health benefits, these assets contribute to home values, workforce attraction, business investment, tourism, and more.
· TOPS has been an invaluable tool with a great track record with 49.9 miles of trail, 7,000+ acres of open space, and 40 park projects. Investing in this fiscally responsible and effective program just makes sense.
· Colorado Springs’ TOPS tax of .10% is woefully below what is needed and embarrassing when compared to other front range communities who back up their stated value of parks, open spaces, and trails with the needed funds to acquire, plan, develop, and maintain properties.
· The proposed adjustment to the structure of TOPS provides needed flexibility. Acquisition remains a key focus and its funding is not reduced, as some have suggested. But the backlog of deferred maintenance, increase in users and user impacts due to growth in our city and compounded by the pandemic, not to mention rising maintenance costs, requires us to adjust the TOPS structure to meet our new reality.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Bear Creek Update
Bear Creek Nature Center is back open to the public after a brief closure last week due to Flooding. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Bear Creek Regional Park Pickleball Courts will be closed on Oct. 29th for some final sidewalk caulking to be done inside the area. It will need to be undisturbed to allow time for it to dry and set.
See what programs are being offered visit:
A temporary detour will divert Foothills Trail users starting Monday, Oct. 25 and will continue throughout the duration of the project. Starting Nov. 4, 30th Street will be closed in both directions between Gateway and Mesa roads through the spring of 2022.
Access to Garden of the Gods Park, including the Visitor & Nature Center, will be maintained throughout the project. The Phase 1 detour route will direct traffic to use Centennial Boulevard and Fillmore Street to enter Garden of the Gods Park from 30th Street south of Gateway Road. During this phase, the park will not be accessible from Garden of the Gods Road by car. Detour notifications will be posted on major access routes. Mesa Road will remain open for local access only.
While work is underway, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are asked to remember that heavy construction equipment and workers will be operating along 30th Street and the Foothills Trail. The active construction area will be defined with signage, and it is important for users to obey directional and safety signage in this area. Please reduce speeds and use caution around equipment and work crews.
For additional project information, visit ColoradoSprings.gov/30thStreet,
or call (719) 315-3102.
Pikes Peak Greenway Trail is about to get some much needed TLC! Major construction project will remove and replace 1.25-miles of existing asphalt with concrete, plus the trail will be widened. Construction is expected to take place Oct 25 – April 2022.
Work will take place between the overpass at I-25 and Rockrimmon Boulevard (near Costco) and Cottonwood Creek Trail junction to the North (near Pikes Peak Indian Motorcycle). This section of the Pikes Peak Greenway will be closed throughout construction and users should use caution in this area and follow posted detour signs. The designated detour route utilizes Corporate Drive and the western sidewalk along N Nevada Avenue.
For more information, visit ColoradoSprings.gov/PPGreenwayTrail, call (719) 426-6030 or email PPGreenwayTrail@gmail.com with questions.
Trail Closures at Red Rock Canyon
Trail work at Red Rock Canyon Open Space began this week. The following trails will be closed intermittently to minimize impact to users:
• Sand Canyon Trail at its Northern Intersection with Contemplative Trail to the Crossing with Contemplative Trail
• Mesa Trail from the Main Parking Lot to the intersection with Quarry Pass Trail
• Red Rock Canyon Trail between the Bock Pavilion (ponds) to the intersection with Roundup Trail
• Red Rock Rim Trail
Visitors should explore alternate routes and be prepared for trail closures. Due to the presence of heavy equipment, please respect these closures for your safety, and to allow park staff to operate safely and efficiently.
Rainbow Falls is Closed for the Season
Rainbow Falls Historic Site has closed early due to falling rocks. It is scheduled to reopen in April 2022.
More info at communityservices.elpasoco.com
Shooks Run Trail Closure
A section of Shooks Run Trail between Lilac and Uintah streets will be affected by construction as Colorado Springs Utilities replaces an aging underground electric line. The trail runs north and south, generally east of downtown Colorado Springs. The first phase begins this week and will close the trail between Lilac and Jackson streets. Construction will be phased over the next several months so that only a few blocks of trail will be closed to the public at a time. Construction will move from north to south. Trail is also closed for construction at Fountain Blvd.
While work is underway, trail users are asked to remember that heavy construction equipment and workers will be operating in the trail corridor. The active construction area will be defined with fencing and signage, please reduce speeds and use caution around vehicles, equipment and work crews.
“Trail Mix” Beer Release Party
Wed Oct. 27, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
TOSC partnered with Fossil Craft Beer Company again this year to create a custom brew. We invite all of you to join us at Fossil for the release party! Come try our amazing “Trail Mix” pretzel beer. $1 from every pint sold will be donated to support the Trails and Open Space Coalition. Let’s enjoy good beer and good company.
Upcoming TOSC Hikes
One of our favorite things to do here at TOSC is take fellow outdoor enthusiasts on guided hikes, walks and bike rides to showcase projects, explore our city’s history, and share what is going on at TOSC. We have two exciting opportunities coming over the next two weekends. Please be considerate and only register if you are sure you will attend as space is limited.
Wetland Restoration Walk
Sat Oct. 30, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
This is an exciting behind-the-scenes outing, exploring a local gem hidden in plain sight! We are excited to partner with Stormwater Enterprise to offer this exclusive tour of a new wetland restoration project in Southeast COS. Get a first-hand look at the current landscape and hear about the changes to come throughout the restoration project. Join us on a 2 hour walking tour of this 18 acre property. We will get an overview of the new project and hike the creeks to see the topography changes. This hike is considered easy, but as always please wear appropriate shoes and clothing as we may explore a grassy area, creeks, and a tree grove. See this project in the news.
Red Rock Geology Hike
Sat Nov. 6, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
TOSC has partnered with Birgit Landin, a geologist and environmental education specialist with nearly 20 years of experience guiding youth science programs, to create a custom hike through Red Rock Canyon Open Space. This hike is good for all ages, and we enthusiastically welcome children on this hike! We will explore rock formations and learn how they came to be; we will discover fascinating plants while searching for animal clues in this engaging and hands-on hike; and you just may learn things about Red Rock that you never knew before. This is an easy 2-mile hike that we estimate will take 2 hours.
Questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact Beth at email@example.com. We hope you will be able to join us!
Trout ‘n Trails Pint Night
Thur Nov. 4, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Come mingle with some local outdoor and trail organizations: Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance, Rocky Mountain Field Institute, and Trails and Open Space Coalition. Stop by Angler’s Covey for beer, prizes, fly fishing demos and more! First 100 people will receive a free pint glass. Help us kick off the IndyGive! right.
Congratulations to Stephen Martin of Explore with Media (and of course Ollie his dog and partner!) Stephen is a finalist for the Mayor’s Young Leader award celebrating people making a significant positive impact in Colorado Springs. He produced a series of amazing videos you will find on our website. Good luck Stephen!
Board Treasurer Needed!
The Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park have an opening for a treasurer on their Board of Directors. This amazing small team needs to fill this position immediately. If you are interested in volunteering as treasurer, please email Aaron Rogers, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Click here to learn more about the Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
Fall Fun at Fountain Creek!!
Sat. October 30
Pumpkin Carving Party – 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Pre-scooped pumpkins, patterns, and carving tools provided! Show off your creation at the Jack-o-Lantern Trail. Pumpkins may be retrieved after 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by Milberger Farms, Pueblo. Please pre-register, $5 fee.
Scarecrow Contest – 4:00 – 5:00 PM
The Nature Center will provide the frame and hay, and you bring the clothes and props. The scarecrows will be put on display during the Jack-o-Lantern Trail event (separate fee). All who attend the Jack-o-Lantern Trail will get a chance to vote on their favorite scarecrows. Voting closes at 7:30pm. Prizes will be given for the top three scarecrows! Please pre-register $15 fee.
Jack-o-Lantern Trail – 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Return at night to see your creations in action! Make a craft, hear stories, and roast a marshmallow before you embark on the lighted trail. Costumes strongly encouraged!
Please pre-register, $5 fee.
RMFI and BLM Seek Input from Shelf Road Users
In partnership with the Bureau of Land Management – Royal Gorge Field Office, RMFI is administering a survey to gather information about the current usage, satisfaction, and needs at Shelf Road Recreation Area. Approximately 10-15 minutes will be needed to complete the survey.
The survey will close October 31. TAKE SURVEY NOW!