Platte Ave over Sand Creek Bridge Project
Last week, TOSC staff took part in a site visit of the Platte Avenue Bridge Project. Along with an upgraded roadway, a signalized intersection, and enhanced stormwater system, this project is also creating the underpass and high-value connection for the Sand Creek Trail in Southeast Colorado Springs.
Many times throughout the year, we are asked, “when is this trail going to be extended, or when is that connection going to be made?” This is how it happens! Often our needed urban trail enhancements are included within a far larger major infrastructure project. Our trail corridors and grade-separated connections are planned and constructed during the course of work being performed. This takes the coordination of multiple City departments and we applaud the effort taken to enhance our urban trail network during these major Public Works and Stormwater projects.
We are also thankful for the vision set forth in the 2014 Parks Master Plan that called for the additional trail mileage and safe underpass connection that is being built today. Progress may be slower than we’d like at times, but the work is getting done and TOSC will continue to advocate for continued expansion and connections. We look forward to celebrating this new connection in Fall of 2022!
PARK AND TRAIL News
City Nature Challenge
April 29 – May2
COS Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services has joined the multicity, global event called City Nature Challenge. More than 350 cities worldwide will participate. Nature and science fans of all ages are asked to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals and fungi using the free iNaturalist app. Scientists can use the collected pools of data to better understand and conserve urban wildlife habitat.
Participating is easy:
1. Find wildlife (plant, animal, fungi, or any evidence of life such as scat, fur or tracks)
2. Take a picture of what you find and note the location of the critter or plant
3. Share your observation with the iNaturalist app
Trail Closures at Cheyenne Mountain State Park
SAT. APRIL 30
All Trails on the South side of the park road (highlighted in pink) will be closed on SATURDAY, for a trail race. The closure will be from early morning to early evening. Trails on the North side of the park road (highlighted in green) and the Archery Range Trails will remain OPEN. Thanks for your cooperation and good luck runners!
Visiting Pikes Peak Summit House
Visitors who want to drive to the summit of Pikes Peak and park in the top lot from May 27-September 30 will be required to make an online reservation. Reservations can be made up to one month in advance on DrivePikesPeak.com (live May 1). Same-day reservations will be allowed if space is available.
The timed-entry reservation system, which will allow a two-hour window for guests to arrive at the gateway, will ensure visitors have a parking space on the summit. The new system comes a year after the opening of the new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center. With more for visitors to see and do on the summit, guests are spending more time on the top than in the past. The mountain is also continuing to see a growing number of visitors each year, and the physical space to add parking on top is limited. Visitors who don’t make a reservation can still drive to Devils Playground, during June and July there’s a free shuttle bus to the top.
One of the most powerful tools available to us all to report issues in our parks, on our trails, and all throughout the city is the GoCOS! Application. We have found that at times, users of Android products have run into connectivity issues. Checking with City staff, all it takes is clearing the memory/storage on the app and that returns functionality. We’ve been informed that the developers are working on an updated app that will fix this issue. If you get this error screen when trying to access the GoCOS! App, clear the memory and you’ll be back in reporting business!
Remember, you can always input issues via the desktop application coloradosprings.gov/page/citizen-request-gocosprings-app
3 Parks in 3 Days
Friends Groups make a huge impact in our local outdoor community. This past Earth Day Weekend, the Guardians of Palmer Park, Friends of Peregrine Parks and Open Spaces and Friends of Ute Valley Park came together to host three trail workdays in three days. Over 400 volunteer hours were put into various projects across the three parks.
Friday, April 22nd, 30+ people came out to Blodgett Open Space and accomplished rogue trail closures,
installation of erosion protection & fencing and trail maintenance.
Saturday, April 23rd, over 40 people volunteered in Palmer Park. They completed check dams for erosion control, trail maintenance/rerouting and rogue trail closure.
Sunday, April 24th, the weekend finished strong with 40+ people coming out to close 3,600 linear feet of decommissioned trails in Ute Valley Park.
Congratulations to the three Friends Groups, City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department and all the volunteers for pulling off such an amazing event.
Keep it Clean COS
Mayor John Suthers has asked volunteers to step up efforts to keep trails, parks and medians clean. Individuals and groups willing to go the extra mile picking up litter could win a Spirit of the Springs Award. “Keep it Clean COS” has a website with a list of community events for volunteers and a downloadable toolkit and registration form for groups to promote cleanups.
For more information: coloradosprings.gov/keepitclean
Rainbow Falls is Closed
Rainbow Falls Historic Site is popular with residents and visitors. Scheduled to open earlier this month, Rainbow Falls remains closed due to unsafe conditions for vehicles involving falling rocks. EPC Parks Staff will be contracting with a private company to assess the problem and come up with a solution. And will be looking for alternatives to add additional parking.
Scheels employees are the hardiest stewards! In 2019, they cleaned up Mary Kyer Park in 9 degree weather. In 2021, they picked up trash in the Pineries Open Space in a monsoonal downpour. This past Friday, the fearless group teamed up with TOSC for an Earth Day cleanup in the Pineries Open Space despite 60+ mph winds and blowing dust. Over 20 pounds of litter was removed from the parking lot and the road leading into the park. Most of the litter included single use plastics and discarded broken hiking/biking equipment. TOSC would like to thank Scheels for their continued support of our mission and their care and commitment to Pikes Peak region open spaces and trails!
Happy Earth Month!
You have until Saturday to stop by any one of 3 Veda salons and enter to win hiking prizes plus salon services. Special thanks to the staff of Veda who chose TOSC as this years’ Earth Month recipient. Proceeds will be used to support programs that directly benefit our trails, parks and open spaces.
The annual Give! Campaign is just getting underway. TOSC will again be applying to be included because over the years the campaign has connected us to new members and volunteers and allowed us to commit more time to our mission of open space preservation, trail connectivity and stewardship.
We thank John Weiss and the Colorado Springs Independent for creating and sustaining the Give! program for so many years. And we thank the current Give! Board of Directors for keeping the vision alive.
Sat. April 30, 5:00 AM to 12:00 PM
It’s the kick-off to another great season of multi-modal car-free activation of Garden of the Gods Park. Come enjoy a morning of walking, running, skating, riding and rolling! Dogs are also welcome on leash.
This unique opportunity to experience Garden of the Gods without motor vehicles has been incredibly popular and we thank the Parks department for continuing the events this year. Our partners at Bike Colorado Springs have been instrumental in providing volunteers for this event and they would appreciate it if you’d consider taking a shift. You can enjoy the event before or after volunteering. The only way events like this are able to take place is because of many great volunteers! Please contact Paula Krantz, firstname.lastname@example.org to help out.
To find out more about Motorless Morning and the series of Early Bird Hike & Bike events planned throughout the Summer, please visit coloradosprings.gov.
Spring Fling Poker 5K Ride and Run
Sat. April 30, 8:30 – 12:00 PM
Join the Friends of the Equestrian Skills Course for the 3rd Spring Fling Poker 5K Ride and Run! All ages welcome (special game for kids) High- and low-hand prizes for each trail user group – horses, pack burros, bicycles, walkers and runners. Tickets are only $20 in advance or $30 day of event. All proceeds directly benefit the building and maintenance of the Equestrian Skills Course at Bear Creek Park.
SPROUTS FOR SPROUTS
Wed. May 4, 4:00 – 9:00 PM
Join Catamount Institute at Goat Patch Brewery for a fun, foliage-filled, fundraiser! Vegetable, flower, and houseplant starts will be available for sale – first come, first served. Enjoy a pint of the It Takes A Tribe Red Ale, $.25 per beer supports Catamount programs! Raise a glass to nature, outdoor education, and great beer!
ALSO…PLANT BABIES NEEDED! To donate plants, contact Alli, email@example.com. Funds will support Catamount’s scholarship program which allows underserved youth to participate in an amazing, weeklong nature camp.
May Bird Walk
Tue. May 10, 7:30 – 9:00 AM
Join the Friends of Monument Valley Park for a morning bird walk, led by David Rudin, a Freelance Birding Guide and Naturalist-at-Large and Gary Conover, an Experienced Birder. Meet at the W. Fontanero St. parking lot of Monument Valley Park (Intersection of W. Fontanero Street and Culebra Avenue) Bring binoculars and water – NO PETS please.
RSVP REQUIRED! Event is limited to 24 participants.
Reserve a spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Char Nymann – Community Garden Champion
We sadly report the recent passing of Char Nymann. If that name is familiar, the Bear Creek Community Garden was renamed the Charmaine Nymann Community Garden at Bear Creek Regional Park in her honor.
The garden is the oldest community garden in the Pikes Peak region and one of the most successful gardens thanks in large part to Char. Once operated by El Paso County, it nearly withered on the vine back in 1985 due to budget cuts. Her advocacy, passion and determination kept the garden going and formed an organization managed by gardeners that eventually led to annual weed-eating goat visits. Learn more about the garden, Char and her legacy.
And kudos to the non-profit board who share Char’s vision and are determined to maintain her high standards.
Summer of Service
Mile High Youth Corps’ Land Conservation Program is currently seeking young adults, ages 18-24, who are interested in joining their volunteer team for the season. Summer of Service is 12 or 14 week-long program (May – August) where Corps members work on stewardship projects on public lands. No experience is required! Mile High Youth Corps will provide hands-on training for all projects.