Jimmy Camp Creek and Corral Bluffs
Both of these properties are on the city’s far east side. Both belong to you to the residents of COS. Jimmy Camp Creek Park is 697 acres and was deeded to the city in 1988. Sections of Corral Bluffs Open Space have been purchased by TOPS over the past 14 years and now total about 1000 acres.
Both properties have been under scrutiny lately. Some members of City Council are asking Parks Staff to finally plan and open JCCP. Sound easy? It’s anything but easy because:
- Stipulations attached to JCCP require a master plan and will only allow passive recreation when opened.
- Preliminary surveys indicate there are more than 450 culturally sensitive sites requiring further study and potential protection.
- Because it is not a TOPS property, (and 2C did not pass) there is limited funding to perform adequate surveys and subsequent planning for JCCP.
Parks Staff have advocated for buying additional property with TOPS dollars and connecting the two properties and master planning them together. Since TOPS requires a “willing seller”, that has yet to occur and no planning date or planning budget has been set.
Here are two things we are certain of:
The paleontological value of Corral Bluffs and cultural significance of JCCP will mean these properties, once opened, will not resemble other open spaces or regional parks. Access is likely to be limited to only portions of the property and a limited number of trails will be designed to avoid the most sensitive areas.
With the current political push to focus more staff resources on JCCP, other projects scheduled to begin this year are likely to be pushed back to next year. Planning for the Blodgett OS expansion, Pikeview, Black Canyon Quarry and one of our favorite: Fisher Canyon will be delayed because of staff capacity and limited resources.
Let us know what you think. Send your comments to email@example.com and we’ll pass them along to park staff, TOPS Working Committee and members of City Council.
PARK AND TRAIL News
North Cheyenne Cañon Project Update
Crews are working hard to complete the reconstruction of three bridges in North Cheyenne Cañon Park. Two of the three girders have been placed and the third is scheduled to be placed in April. The new bridges will be wider, stronger and safer, but the goal is for them to appear as if nothing has changed. To accomplish this, crews are salvaging as much of the original stone work as possible to reuse on the new structures. Construction is expected to be complete by May 31, 2022, weather and construction dependent. North Cheyenne Canyon Road is closed to all users, but park trails will remain open.
Midland Corridor Study
Wed. April 6, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
The project team will host a public meeting on the Midland Corridor Transportation Study to identify transportation issues and infrastructure improvements needed to carry out the vision of business owners and residents. You can attend in person at the City Administration Building on 30 S. Nevada Avenue, Room 102 or virtually via teams.
Santa Fe Open Space …..Almost Open!
Santa Fe open Space will officially open next Thursday, April 7 when the ribbon is cut and users can finally access the trails. Located between Palmer Lake and Monument along the New Santa Fe Trail, the 60 acre open space with close to two miles of trail provides lovely views of the front range. Purchased in part with voter supported Tabor refund dollars, the new open space will be available to hikers, mountain bikes and equestrians.
This park is coming together! It will have a universally accessible playground and sensory area, multipurpose turf field (that will be made with a sustainable coconut composite!), skatepark, bike course with ramps and jumps to delight all skill levels, a basketball court, water feature, and public art – this park is all that and then some. We can’t wait to celebrate the grand reopening this summer!
For more information on Panorama Park, visit www.ColoradoSprings.gov/PanoramaPark
It’s April and Time to Celebrate TOPS!
25 years ago, city voters gave themselves a wonderful gift. They voted to support a .1% sales tax that would become the TOPS program and support the purchase of some of our favorite open spaces, trails and parks. One penny on every ten dollars spent in the city led to the preservation of Red Rock, Stratton, Cheyenne Mtn State Park, Venezia park, Midland Trail, Cottonwood Creek Trail and so much more.
Beginning in April we’ll celebrate the success of TOPS by hearing from some of the program’s biggest fans. The city hopes to hear from many of you knowing you have a story about playing in your favorite park, riding on our amazing trail network or relaxing in a fabulous open space.
Just provide a short answer to the question: “why are you thankful for our trails, open spaces and parks and why these spaces are meaningful to you?” And please include a photo of you enjoying your favorite TOPS property. Send it to Cassie.Melvin2@coloradosprings.gov.
Equestrian Advisory Council Meeting
Thur. April 7, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
As the advocacy organization for trail users, we want to be sure we are hearing from ALL trail users, and that includes our local equestrians. We are inviting all Equestrians to join us for our upcoming Equestrian Advisory Council meeting. This is an opportunity tell us what you are seeing on the trails that we might not know about, share your concerns, and ask us your questions. Also, we will be providing updates on new trails and open spaces that we think you will love to hear about! Join us at the TOSC Conference Room, 704 E. Boulder Street. *Refreshments will be provided*
Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veda Salon & Spa Hosting Month-Long Fundraisers benefiting TOSC
In celebration of Earth Day, Veda Salon & Spa will be hosting fundraisers benefiting TOSC throughout the entire month of April. Visit any one of their three locations in Colorado Springs to participate in a variety of fundraisers, including raffles for exclusive salon services and cool outdoor gear!
Pikes Peak Crew Leader Training
Sat. April 30th & Sun. May 1st
The Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training (PPRCLT) is an intensive weekend-long training for experienced volunteers who are interested in becoming certified Volunteer Crew Leaders. While in the training, participants will learn how to lead safe, successful trail projects and develop basic trail construction and restoration skills. The training is organized in partnership with Trails and Open Space Coalition, Rocky Mountain Field Institute, and Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services.
Kane Ranch Open Space
Last week, TOSC staff visited the newly opened Kane Ranch Open Space, 4 miles east of the City of Fountain off of Squirrel Creek Road. It is located due west of the MM Equestrian facility, be sure to look for the prominent signage right along the main roadway. A dirt drive leads you south to the parking facility with spaces for ~7 single vehicles along with additional parking for equestrian trailer rigs.
The Lariat Loop is a gentle 3.5 mile out and back with a loop at the southern end. Please be mindful of the signage to stay on the trail, the Mud Flat area to the west of the trail is rattlesnake habitat. The trail offers views of the beautiful front range mountains and if you look east, you can see until next week…expansive prairie horizons. While this experience was a bike ride, please note that goat head thorns are present around the edges of the trail, so plan accordingly and be mindful of your tires and pet’s sensitive paws if they join you.
We thank staff from El Paso County Parks for building this serene open space with access to the wide open spaces, and for providing full services at the trailhead. Be sure to practice the Leave No Trace ethic while enjoying this open space and pick up any litter that the wind may have blown in.
TOCS 2021 Annual Report is Available
Our 2021 Annual Report is available online! We are excited to share with you all of the accomplishments of 2021. A special thanks to Dave Myers for donating his artwork and design services.
Palmer work Day
Sat. April 2, 8:00 – 12:00 PM
Guardians of Palmer Park host a work day the first Saturday of each month! There are usually 3 crews to choose from: trail maintenance, trash cleanup and doggie doo removal. Meet in the parking lot near Maizeland entrance. Pre-registration is required to participate
Trash Cleanup: https://cerv.is/0132giiA6mo
Dog Doo Crew: https://cerv.is/0132g7bWkux
Waiting on word from Ranger Nate about a Trail Work project.
Contact email@example.com for more details.
Pikes Peak Beekeeping School
Sat. April 2 & Sun. April 3, 8:30 – 3:45 PM
This two-day seminar at Bear Creek Nature Center covers all aspects of beekeeping in the Pikes Peak region: how to acquire bees, equipment, bee biology and management through the seasons. All lectures are presented by local beekeepers with years of collective knowledge. $65 per person, Book ‘First Lessons in Beekeeping’ included!
Colorado Springs Bike Swap
Sat. April 2, 10:00 – 2:00 PM
Colorado Springs’ largest bicycling gear swap is back! New and Used Cycling Gear from 100+ Vendors. Entry fee is $2 Donation to Kids on Bikes.
Sellers Booths available! Want to sell your bike, but don’t want to sit at a booth all day? Drop it at bike corral ($10/bike) at 9:45, prospective buyers take a gander and pick it up by 3:30.
Check out Facebook Event.
The City of Colorado Springs is seeking volunteers to serve on Citizens’ Transportation Advisory Board to advise City Council on multi-modal transportation systems. Meetings are held the 1st Tuesday of every month at 3:00 PM. There are currently 3 vacancies that need to be filled: one individual who rides bicycles for transportation, one individual residing in City Council District 1, and one individual residing in City Council District 6.
Egg Dyeing with Natural Dyes
Sat. April 9, 10:00 – 12:00 PM
Join the Bear Creek Nature Center Crew to learn how to use the bounty of nature’s color to dye eggs with plant materials. Dye and design your own take-home eggs and gain the knowledge to continue creating at home. All materials included. $10 per person/$8 per member.