Car Break-Ins Hit Northern El Paso County
There has been an up-tick in vehicle break-ins at trailhead parking lots in northern El Paso County. Break-ins have been reported in the Monument Preserve, Fox Run Regional Park (Roller Coaster Road Trailhead), Black Forest Section 16 and Black Forest Regional Park. Although break-ins are not 100% preventable, there are some actions that can protect your property. Keeping a clean car can deter thieves from seeing an easy smash and grab. Be aware of your surroundings at trailheads and stay vigilant of suspicious activity. When possible, do not leave anything in your car that you do not want to lose (wallet, purse, keys, garage door opener, etc). If your car is broken into, be sure to report it to the police.
For more tips, check out 5 Ways to Prevent a Trailhead Brake-In.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Foothills Trail Underpass
A new multi-use trail connection underneath Gateway Road is under construction. The concrete box culvert floor is expected to be poured this week (weather dependent). Culvert walls will be placed next followed by the top of the culvert. The finished underpass will be 90 feet long and 20 feet wide.
The underpass will improve pedestrian safety with direct access between the Visitor Center and popular trails on the north side of Gateway Road to Rock Ledge Ranch and the Park overflow parking lot on the south.
Changes at Prospect Lake
The City is installing an aeration system in the lake this summer that will address one of the conditions that contributed to the presence of blue-green algae, which shut down recreational use in 2019 and 2020. As a result of the new infrastructure, only non-motorized activities will be allowed at Prospect Lake beginning May 1. Non-motorized use such as paddle boards, row boats, fishing, and swimming will still be allowed.
Prospect Lake will also move to a “swim at your own risk” model beginning this summer. Previously, swimming operations were run seasonally by the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region on limited days and times. The change will allow for free public swimming at the popular spot, located in front of the Eni R. Jasperson Beach House. Signage will be added around the beach area acknowledging that there will be no lifeguards on duty.
And don’t forget the newly renovated beach house! The facility provides indoor and outdoor learning spaces, an outdoor gathering area with boulder seating, a rentable indoor great room for community events, beach volleyball, a lit patio, accessible beach access, and food and beverage items for purchase from local concessionaire, Lakeside Dawgs. The public can also rent stand-up paddleboards for use in the lake, and the Parks Department is in the process of soliciting additional proposals for activities to enhance lake usage.
by local trail historian Eric Swab
Did Spencer Penrose (1865-1939) build hiking and equestrian trails on Pikes Peak? He was certainly interested in trails as a source of recreation for his guests at the Broadmoor hotel and the town’s visitors in general. The title of a 1920s trail map The Mountain Trails of the Broadmoor Region supports this assumption. Even though this map is not dated or signed, the cartographic style is certainly the work of Manly Ormes (1858-1929), a librarian at Colorado College from 1904 until 1928, and father of Robert Ormes, author of the Pikes Peak Atlas. An early 1920s date for the map is suggested by the map’s sub- title, The Pikes Peak Camping and Mountain Trail Association (PPCMTA).
Two newspaper articles of the early 1920s confirm Spencer’s interest in equestrian trails. Penrose took Henry M. Blackmer, Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. MacNeill, and Russell K. Dougherty, by horseback, up the newly-constructed Sunrise Trail to The Horns on Cheyenne Mountain. Mr. Penrose told his companions he planned to build a “Swiss chalet-style cottage” at the top of Cheyenne Mountain…
Bighorn Sheep on the Move
Twenty-one bighorn sheep are settling into their new home in Beaver Creek Canyon, near the Fremont/Teller County border south of Victor, CO. This area has been home to a historic herd of bighorn sheep; however, due to disease and other factors, that herd has declined. To buildup genetic diversity and to give the Beaver Creek Canyon herd a shot at survival, CPW biologists relocated twenty-one sheep from the prolific Rampart Range herd to their new home. The process to move the bighorn sheep involved trapping the sheep, trucking them to the Beaver Creek Wildlife Area and then flying them by helicopter to Beaver Creek Canyon.
Sun Feb. 20th, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Join TOSC and RISE|Southeast Walking Group for a gentle, family-friendly stroll around Wildflower Park and along the beautiful Sand Creek Trail. This collaboration is in support of our Get Out Get Healthy initiative with Peak Vista Community Health Centers with the goal to provide safe and convenient community walks.
Wildflower Park has an awesome playground, great walking paths and a direct connection to the Sand Creek Trail! The group will meet at the parking lot at Wildflower Park, then walk along the Sand Creek Trail to Sagebrush Park and back for a total of 1.8 miles. The paths and trails are all smooth concrete; appropriate for people of all ability. Please wear comfortable shoes, sun protection and masks are highly encouraged.
During this time of the year, weather can be challenging. Please check the Facebook event for updates and cancelations.
TOSC & Lost Friends Brew
TOSC is fortunate to receive support from so many of our local businesses, especially our local breweries. We were excited to spend part of the day with one of our newest partners, Lost Friends Brewing Company, brewing our own custom “Hazy Hound” Mango Hazy IPA. Save the date for Monday, March 7 for the Launch Party!
Pikes Peak Crew Leader Training
April 30 and May 1, 2022
Registration is now live for the annual Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training (PPRCLT). PPRCLT is an intensive weekend-long training for stewardship volunteers who are interested in becoming certified and active Stewardship Crew Leaders. While in the training, participants learn how to lead safe, successful trail projects and build upon basic trail construction and restoration skills. The training is hosted by TOSC, Rocky Mountain Field Institute and the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department.
For more information, please visit www.rmfi.org/crew-leader-training
Liquid Lecture Series 2022
A Creek on the Move: Changes Along Fountain Creek
Wed Feb. 16, 6:00-7:00pm at Atrevida Brewing Co.
Speaker: Dr. Laura Hempel (US Geological Survey Hydrologist)
Fountain Creek is a complex and dynamic river that is constantly changing, grain by grain. This talk will explore the fundamentals of river channel change, the existing USGS monitoring program on Fountain Creek (teaser: it involves lasers), and preliminary results of a historic aerial photo study by Colorado College student and former USGS intern, Spencer Shaw. All attendees will receive $1 off beers from ATREVIDA BREWING COMPANY during the event!
Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Seasonal Outdoor Jobs
Do you love working outside, getting your hands dirty, engaging community volunteers, and playing a direct role in the protection of public lands? Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) is hiring multiple Field Instructor and Field Coordinator positions for the 2022 field season! Ideal candidates possess a strong work ethic and deep passion for public lands stewardship. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. All positions begin on March 21, 2022.
Learn more and apply at www.rmfi.org.
Summer Bike Camps
Kids on Bikes summer camps offer kids the opportunity to develop overall bicycling and mountain bike skills, see a variety of terrain, explore the local trail systems, and cultivate a love for bicycling at a young age. Proceeds support Kids on Bikes’ mission to break down barriers to bicycling and to inspire and empower all kids to lead healthy, active, and happy lives through bicycling. Need-based scholarships for summer bike camps are also available.
Waste Management Survey
The City of Colorado Springs wants to know what you think about the current waste and recycling system in Colorado Springs. Please take a short survey and share what you think. Feedback will be used in applying for a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Front Range Waste Diversion program, which supports communities to increase recycling, composting, and waste reduction.