Tavá Mountain aka Pikes Peak?
Who gets to name a mountain? Is it the person who climbs it first? Is it the people who first lay eyes on it? Can a mountain have more than one official name? The Colorado Springs community, along with other communities across the western US who are located near sacred mountains, have been grappling with ways to honor the past and keep established names of mountains. From last week’s survey, 232 people have participated with 44.4% of the vote support restoring the name Tavá Mountain, 31.5% do not support a name change and 24.1% would support keeping Pikes Peak but adding a “also known as Tavá Mountain” statement. The shifting, cultural winds in our region allowed this conversation to take place; from this exchange, our community has the opportunity to learn more about the history of the region and the other cultures that called this region home. Learn more about the many names of Pikes Peak.
Tell us what you think. The one question survey remains open until Friday.
PARK AND TRAIL News
BIG CHANGES afoot at the Ute Valley Park Vindicator Trailhead
In late July, City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services employees began construction on the long-awaited Ute Valley Park (“UVP”) Trail. The UVP Trail was designated as a high priority project in the 2015 Ute Valley Park Master and Management Plan and will serve as a connection between the Pikes Peak Greenway and the Foothills Trail. The long-range goal of this project is to support a network of off-street trails that connect Palmer Park, Austin Bluffs Open Space, Ute Valley Park, Blodgett Open Space, and eventually, Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
City staff have built over 4,000 linear feet of trail and, when combined with work contractors have done near the Ute Valley Trail Trailhead, are now about halfway done with the build. The next phase of the project involves not only connecting the two sections but also beginning an intensive restoration project of old, decommissioned trails – also a high priority project. The web of trails crisscrossing the meadow directly South of the Vindicator Trailhead are part of this restoration plan and will be closed and decommissioned starting the week of January 16th. Please respect these closures and utilize the new UVP Trail connectors that lead East and West from the trailhead.
Templeton Gap Trail Detour
Traffic on Union Boulevard has shifted to allow work on the outside lanes, sidewalks and trail as part of the Templeton Gap bridge maintenance project. A trail detour is in place, follow signs using a different section of Templeton Gap Trail and Templeton Gap Rd. Detour is expected to last through July.
View Bike Colorado Springs’ city wide detour map to see all current bike detours throughout Colorado Springs
Cheyenne Mountain State Park TRAIL CLOSURES
Saturday, January 22
All Trails on the South side of the park road (highlighted in pink) will be closed on SATURDAY, JANUARY 22 for a trail race. The closure will be from early morning to early afternoon (probably 1 pm). Trails on the North side of the park road (highlighted in green) and the Archery Range Trails will remain OPEN.
Thank you for your cooperation and good luck to the racers!
El Paso County Parks – the Cost of Vandalism
Parks Staff provided the EPC Parks Advisory Board with a summary of 2021 vandalism in county parks, trails and open spaces. Vandals set fire to bathrooms, bridges and fences, drove vehicles on sports fields, vandalized signs and left graffiti throughout the park system. Total cost to fix, repair and replace in 2021: $62,837.
If you see vandalism taking place, please report it to citizen.connect.elpasoco.com
Bike Speed Data Collection
COS Parks Scott Abbott shared preliminary results of a trail speed study. Using speed guns, staff identified potential high speed locations and started measuring e-bikes and analog (conventional) bikes.
E-bikes represent 32% of observed bikes on urban trails and 5% on singletrack trails.
E-bikes average 4.2 mph faster on uphill trail segments and 1.1 mph slower on downhill trail segments.
On level urban trails e-bikes traveled slightly faster than analog bikes. (11.8 vs 11.3 mph)
Averaging all the preliminary data, e-bikes are traveling at roughly the same speed as conventional bikes. (15.6 vs 15.5 mph)
Due to limited data, staff was unable to draw meaningful conclusions regarding e-bike speeds on singletrack trails.
Staff will continue to monitor speed. The city’s e-bike pilot is expected to begin this year.
Sarah Braun – COS Employee of the Year
Congratulations to Sarah Braun, Program Coordinator Therapeutic Recreation Program and Interim Supervisor, Hillside Community Center. Sarah was first named COS Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Employee of the Year for 2021. She was then named City of Colorado Springs Employee of the Year by Mayor John Suthers. Honored at last week’s Parks Advisory Board meeting, Sarah expressed surprise and gratitude.” I do what I do because I love what I do. We get to serve some of the most amazing people in the community.”
Where will you Get Out Spread Out in 2022?
With the very mild winter weather we are experiencing locally, and having a forecast for 59 degrees on January 17th, the Martin Luther King holiday, it was definitely a day to get out…and spread out! TOSC Community Engagement Coordinator Allen Beauchamp and board member Jerry Cordova decided that a bike ride was in order and pulled from the #GetOutSpreadOut initiative bike ride listings. Linking up both the Crew’s Gulch Trail in Widefield – John Ceresa Park and the Bluestem Prairie Open Space routes allowed these two to enjoy a 14.5 mile round trip from a truly #hiddeninplainsight gem of a neighborhood park to a beautiful open space with expansive views and a singletrack loop that is fun and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. Seeing David Deitemeyer and his family out on bikes enjoying the trail David designed and built with the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department team was an unexpected and welcome bonus!
As we walk, roll, hike, and run forward into 2022, keep the #GetOutSpreadOut resource in mind. For this year, challenge yourself each month to visiting a new park or open space to hike in, or plot a bike ride route that you have not ventured out on before. The many locations all throughout El Paso County were chosen to provide our residents with new experiences in places that are not as well-known as many of the more easily recognized destinations and can provide a chance to enjoy our region in a new way with less crowds and unique views!
We will be profiling more of these walks, hikes, and bike rides in upcoming Trail Talk editions and would love for you to share your experiences and photos on the TOSC Facebook page as well.
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 email@example.com 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.
FIRST FRIDAY DOWNTOWN ARTWALK
Fri. Feb 4, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Free and open to the public, First Friday Downtown features new art, live music, and special events on the first Friday of every month at dozens of galleries, retailers and nonprofits throughout Downtown Colorado Springs. For February, treat yourself to a progressive dessert tasting, present your Chocolate Passport (costs $10) at participating galleries and venues to receive gourmet treats, free art experiences and chances to win one of two $50 Downtown Gift Cards.
Learn more about participating locations and get tickets at downtowncs.com/event/chocolate/