What's in a Name?
Do you know all the names of Pikes Peak? The 53rd highest mountain in North America has been inspiring people and cultures for centuries, if not millennia. For the Mountain Ute people, the region’s original inhabitants, they call the 14,115’ mountain Tavá Kaa-vi (Mountain of the Sun) because the early morning sun illuminates the summit first before the rest of the mountain. The Arapahoe people named the mountain Heey-otoyoo (Long Mountain) and the Spanish Explorers called it Montaña del Sol and El Capitán. In 1806, US Explorer Zebulon Pike named the mountain “the Grand Peak” and “Highest Peak” during his failed attempt to summit the mountain. Before the mountain was officially named Pikes Peak in 1890 by the Board on Geographic Names, people referred to the mountain as: “Pike’s Highest Peak” and James Peak (in honor of Edwin James who was the first documented person to summit the mountain). Pikes Peak is the name and powerful brand that has had staying power for over 130 years; however, should a change to the original name be considered? Read more about the recent debate on changing the name back to Tavá Kaa-vi here.
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PARK AND TRAIL News
Foothills Trail Detour
A short section of the Foothills Trail north of Gateway Road is closed temporarily for utility work and other construction activities. The closure is expected to last through spring 2022. Please follow the signed detour route utilizing the Gateway Trail. It adds approximately two minutes of additional walk time. View Construction Activity Map with detour route.
Also, please note the Garden of the Gods Park entrance sign will move to a new location along the Foothills Trail north of Gateway Road as part of the 30th Street Corridor Reconstruction Project. The new location will allow for safer access to those taking photos of the sign without conflicting with vehicular traffic entering and exiting the park.
For more information on the project: ColoradoSprings.gov/30thStreet
Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority – getting prepared for PPRTA3
The Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) tax is a critical funding source for Colorado Springs, 3 other regional municipalities (Manitou Springs, Green Mountain Falls, and Ramah) along with El Paso County. Funds generated from the voter-approved 1% sales tax are used to maintain and build roads, urban trails, and public transit facilities.
Since being approved 2004, this funding mechanism has been used to improve and connect many of our primary urban trail corridors including the Pikes Peak Greenway, Cottonwood Creek Trail, Rock Island Trail and others. These trails, along with their high value as recreational amenities for our city and region, also provide safe and efficient means for non-motorized transportation throughout Colorado Springs and beyond.
The current PPRTA2 provides funding until 2024 and work is being done now to put together the list for PPRTA3 that voters will be presented with at a future election. We truly appreciate those TOSC members and citizens whoresponded to our recent PPRTA needs survey. Results were incorporated into our formal submission on urban trail projects that would provide the highest value for people living and visiting the Pikes Peak region. We will continue to work with our City and County partners as this project list is refined, and we look forward to the future successful adoption of the next PPRTA funding cycle.
Coleman Regional Park Planning Process
Remember 2B? Nearly all of the parks and trails projects listed in the Tabor Retention ballot measure were completed last year. Sports court improvements in Boulder and Thorndale Park will be completed this spring. The final 2B project is Coleman Park Master Planning expected to get underway this year. There will be a robust public process allowing residents living in that region and elsewhere to share their vision for this 70 acre regional park on Tutt Blvd. Watch for more information on how you can participate.
Neighbors Express Concerns – Blodgett Open Space
At the January TOPS Working Committee meeting, committee member Hank Scarangella shared wildfire concerns expressed by Peregrine neighbors. A recent small fire discovered near the open space closed Blodgett and put neighbors on pre-evacuation notice. Fortunately, it remained small but its location in rugged terrain made it difficult to extinguish. TOPS Staff regularly check the open space. Peregrine HOA security checks the trailheads for illegally parked vehicles during their rounds. Installing a gate at trailheads is a possibility should funding become available. Parks Staff say their biggest challenge at Blodgett is rogue trails created for mountain bikes. They ask Blodgett O.S. users to report illegal behavior.
E-Bikes Pilot Update
A proposed code change is expected to go before COS City Council in the months to come that would allow e-bikes on our urban trails. The question was under consideration by city attorneys. If approved the E-Bikes Pilot project would finally begin. As soon as we have a firm date we will let you know.
Parks Are Next!
City Park staff say they have been working non-stop to address wind caused tree damage on mediansand right of ways. They are now turning their attention to limbs on trails in our parks and open spaces.
If you see a large limb blocking a trail, use your GoCOS! app and please report it.
Volunteers Needed – Help TOSC bring back its Signature Event
After a two year respite, TOSC will be bringing back a summer signature fundraising event. It WILL look different than it has in the past, but it WILL be spectacular! Get in on the front end of planning this new event! We are seeking a handful of dedicated volunteers to serve on our event committee. This committee, together with TOSC staff, will be responsible for the oversight of the event plans and execution. If you are a self-motivated individual who loves a challenge and is interested in joining an exciting project, joining this committee could be for you! If you are interested in learning more about the committee member roles and if one of them is a fit for you, please contact Beth at email@example.com.
Work Day at Palmer Park
Mon. Jan 17, 9:00 – 1:00 PM
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, spend the day outside with the Guardians of Palmer Park! Join a volunteer crew to help cleanup the park: Trash Cleanup or Dog Waste
The Mission Continues will be there helping and will be providing food and drink for both breakfast and lunch! Come out and help the whole time or any part of that time. Every bit counts!
Trail Crew is in the works, but link to register is not yet posted. Check Facebook for updates.
January Liquid Lecture
Wed. Jan 19, 6:00 -7:00 pm Via Zoom
Native Plants for Native Pollinators: Practical Ways to Reconnect Your Yard to the Landscape
Speaker: David Woolley, Founder and Director of the Manitou Springs Seed Library
We’ve traditionally seen our yards and properties as places separate from nature, distinct and apart from the fields and woodlots. As a nation we have some 62,500 square miles of lawn. 62,500 square miles largely devoid of the diversity, beauty, and resilience that characterizes our wild places. Come learn about the native pollinators and species that you can make room for in even a small portion of your space. JANUARY BREWSHED ALLIANCE HOST: BRISTOL BREWING COMPANY – Registered attendees will receive a discount code for 10% off to-go beers or buy 3 crowlers get 1 free!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get Zoom login info
Winter Bird Festival
Sat. Jan 22, 10:00 – 2:00 PM
Celebrate winter birds at Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center at North Cheyenne Cañon! Come enjoy crafts, a scavenger hunt, guided birding walks, and family fun while learning about our feathered friends. The event is free, although a $5 donation per family to support park programs, supplies, and staffing is appreciated.
Platte Avenue Corridor Study
The Platte Avenue Corridor study, part of the larger ConnectCOS effort, examines future improvements along Platte Avenue between I-25 and North Powers Blvd. ConnectCOS is a comprehensive study that will result in a 20-year plan for citywide transportation improvements to ensure that people of all abilities have safe, accessible, reliable options to travel in and around the city by foot, motor vehicle, transit, bicycle or other preferred modes.
The Platte Avenue Corridor Study project team would like your feedback on the identified “ambitions” for each of the four Character Areas along Platte Avenue and to what extent the proposed incremental and transformational alternatives address these ambitions. After viewing the meeting information, please provide your feedback via the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/9TPXTMD. Please note: this survey will remain open until January 31st.
To learn more, visit: coloradosprings.gov/project/platte-avenue-corridor-study.