Few of us believed the TOPS increase and extension would not win. The 2C campaign was well-financed. Both the Mayor and City Council supported 2C along with many civic-minded organizations in Colorado Springs. Editorial Boards on both city papers favored 2C. We did not anticipate contentious school board elections, a small but vocal group of opponents or a lopsided turnout of voters. People used their parks and trails during the pandemic in record numbers. But that did not translate into votes.
We appreciate those of you who have shared your ideas on the question: why did 2C lose? Some of you think rising costs contributed to the no vote. Others believe the fact that the tax was “doubled” was a concern. Some felt 2C’s ballot language was difficult to understand.
Most likely all of these reasons contributed to the loss.
What we do know, we still have the smallest TOPS tax of all other cities and counties in the Front Range, and the City’s General Fund support for our parks is less than it was in 2007. We are the fastest growing county in the state, so the deficiencies we see today will only get worse.
Many of us had hoped to give a 150th birthday present to ourselves by passing 2C. It would have aligned with General Palmer’s vision for this city. But if it takes a little longer, that’s ok. Eventually it will have to be addressed because the crumbling trails, neighborhoods waiting for parks and critical maintenance needs aren’t going away. TOPS expires in 4 years. The clock is ticking.
PARK AND TRAIL News
On November 1st, this booby trap was found near Golden Hills Park (northwest Colorado Springs) and was shared to the social platform NextDoor. This kind of malicious activity is rare in our community, but if you encounter a dangerous situation on a trail, please report it to the Colorado Springs Police Department by calling 719-444-7000.
Skate in the Park
Crews are starting to size up space at Acacia Park for the outdoor ice skating rink! Skate in the Park opens November 12th at 4:00 pm.
Visit www.downtowncs.com/skate for more information.
North Slop Rec Area is CLOSED
Attention Fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts, North Slope Recreation Area has closed for the season. Crystal Creek, North Catamount and South Catamount Reservoirs are CLOSED for fishing. It is still possible to hike to these areas, but the parking lot is closed.
For additional information visit coloradosprings.gov/NorthSlope.
Recognizing AMAZING Volunteers
Paula Watkins, board member with the Corral Bluffs Alliance, recently received the Colorado Association of Science Teachers’ “Friend of Science” award during the 2021 Colorado Science Conference. She teaches about the wonders of Corral Bluffs Open Space as a hike leader and volunteers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the raptor monitoring program and the public outreach program. Congratulations, Paula!
Bike Colorado Springswould also like to give a shout out to some of their fantastic volunteers, honored last weekend.
Volunteers of the Year:
Michael and Theresa Rigney
Rodger Reddish and Larry Seidman
As we have reported previously in our newsletter, and as you may have encountered while out on the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail, the Parks project to upgrade the trail surface from the old asphalt to wide concrete is currently underway and the trail is closed from near Costco to the south to the Cottonwood Creek Trail turnoff at the north. While a detour route has been established using Corporate Drive and off-street sidewalk/trail connections, we have received feedback that the signage could be improved. We are working with the project team and our partners at Bike Colorado Springs to provide additional feedback and suggestions for the detour signage. We will share any changes or additional detour navigation aids via our Facebook page as they become available. The project is estimated to be completed in April of 2022.
For additional project information, please visit the Colorado Springs City webpage:
What Would You GIVE?
-To preserve Open Spaces
-To increase stewardship in our outdoor spaces
-To advocate for more trail connectivity
-To close the Ring the Peak gaps
-To create more outdoor advocates
Support the mission of Trails and Open Space Coalition by donating to our Indy Give! Campaign.
WILD AND SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL
Thur. Dec 2, 4:30 PM
Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District is partnering with Trails and Open Space Coalition to present films about our precious water resources and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our outdoor spaces. Thank you to the Colorado Health Foundation and Storybook Brewing for supporting this event! Virtual and In-Person Tickets available.
Sat. Dec 4, 9:00 AM
There is no better way to kick start the Holiday Season than the annual Chasing Santa/Cycling Santa Christmas Unlimited toy drive! Come be a part of the fun and festive 5K run or 15 mile bike ride, and don’t forget to bring an unwrapped toy for the Christmas Unlimited toy drive. Use discount code “TOSC” to get 10% off registration AND LYME will donate a portion of your registration fee to TOSC.
Sign up at www.runningguru.com
Volunteer Coordinator Needed
The Friends of the Equestrian Skills Course are looking for a Volunteer Work Day Coordinator for 2022! The overall task is to organize and ensure workday tasks are carried out and to make sure volunteers have the proper tools to get the work done. This is a great way to get involved with FESC and make a difference for equestrians. Training available.
Email email@example.com for more information.
Bear Creek 7th Annual Bear Run
Sat. Nov 13, 10:00 AM
Bears (will be) Sighted on Bear Creek Regional Trail! During the 7th Annual Bear Run- a 3K & 5K Trail Fun Run & Walk. You too, can don a bear suit and join the “bears” on this family-friendly run & walk. All new runners get a bear suit to keep and wear during the run. Returning runners can dust off their bear suit from previous Bear Runs and register at a discounted rate. Come at 9:00 for Bear Yoga to warm up your muscles. The run/walk starts at 10:00 AM. Embellishing your bear suit for the Costume Contest; prizes will be awarded in three categories: Child, Adult, and Group.
Registration costs are $60/adult, $30/child which includes your bear suit. For returning participants who already have a suit the cost is $20/adult and $15/child. All proceeds from the event benefit the Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers, which funds the educational programs and nature camps at Bear Creek and Fountain Creek Nature Centers.
Register at www.ELPASOCO.COM/BEARRUN. Space is limited!
Open House – Sat. Nov 13, 10:00 – 3:00 PM
Kids programing – Sun. Nov 14, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Concrete Couch invites you to visit Concrete Coyote, a community park-in-the-making! Enjoy tours of Concrete Coyote, BBQ lunch, music and hands-on activities! On Sunday bring the kids to “Stories on the Land” and enjoy locally baked goodness from Gold Star Pies, proceeds of sales will go to Concrete Couch.
Please RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more at concretecouch.org.
Recycling Right LIQUID LECTURE
Thur. Nov 18, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Have you ever been confused by all the rules surrounding recycling? What do all those little numbers stand for? Join Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District and guest speaker Heidi Seals, Interpretive Specialist with El Paso County Parks, at Metric Brewing or via zoom to learn about recycling systems and some tips and tricks for recycling right! Attendees will receive $1 off beers to enjoy during the program.
Email email@example.com to register and
please indicate in person or virtual attendance.
RISE|Southeast Walking Group
Saturdays 9:00 – 10:00 AM @ Memorial Park
Sundays 2:00 – 3:00 PM @ Wildflower Park
While Fall has arrived in the Pikes Peak region (finally!), it is still very important to include regular outdoor activity in your schedule for physical and emotional well-being. One way to do that is to join RISE|Southeast for one of their regularly scheduled weekend walks. We would love for you to join us for a casual walk on Saturdays and/or Sundays! Now is a perfect time to #GetOutSpreadOut and #GetOutGetHealthy, and these activities provide a very welcoming and accessible way to do that. Saturday’s 9:00am walk uses the paved trail around Prospect Lake and Sunday’s 2:00pm walk uses the multiple paved options available at Wildflower Park, including the Sand Creek Trail. The walks are typically 45 minutes to 1 hour in duration and will cover between 1.3 to 3 miles, all depending on how long you’d like to go.
For more information go to www.facebook.com/RISESoutheastCOS