Trust For Public Land – Annual ParkScore Released
For 2022, Colorado Springs ranks #58,
Why does it matter?
ParkScore is a snapshot of what we’re doing well and where we need to improve. Nine years ago COS placed 14th and Denver was 17th. COS has dropped almost every year since then. This year out of the 100 largest cities in the country, we received our worst score to date.
Our park system was compared to others according to investment, access, amenities, acreage and equity. We do poorly each year when it comes to “investment.” Our spending per capita is $92 compared to the national average of $98. Denver spends $151. Inadequate resources mean we are unable to offer amenities like enough basketball hoops, bathrooms and splash pads for users. While we have great parks like John Venezia and Nancy Lewis and (the soon to open) Panorama Park, some of our parks are substandard. In addition to increasing property values, parks counter urban heat and reduce flooding and runoff from heavy rains. Plus parks contribute to community health and wellness.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Prairie Rattlesnake Season is Here
May is a month of transition for prairie rattlesnakes. In late March and April, when wintry weather is possible, prairie rattlesnakes will stay near their south facing rocky hillside habitats to sunbathe. May through early June, they will take advantage of consistent warm weather to roam further from their homes. The amount of rattlesnake posts on social media over the past week from Ute Valley Park suggests that the recent unseasonably warm weather has jumpstarted rattlesnake season. Want to avoid problems with rattlesnakes while recreating? Stay on trail and keep pets leashed to prevent most encounters.
Pikes Peak Greenway is Reopened
The 1.25-mile Pikes Peak Greenway Trail improvement project – running north to the confluence of Cottonwood Creek along Monument Creek, near Pikes Peak Indian Motorcycle – is officially complete and open for public use! The project replaced deteriorated asphalt with a wider and more durable concrete surface, plus an adjacent gravel running trail. Damaged bridge decking was also removed and replaced along with several other drainage and stormwater improvements.
Update: Templeton Gap Trail at North Union
The Union Blvd Bridge Project, taking place over the Templeton Gap Floodway, is anticipated to be finished in June. This project includes the addition of 10 foot wide connections to the Templeton Gap Trail along both sides of the roadway, that will be protected by guardrails. We will track the progress and look forward to sharing when the newly improved trail connections are ready for use.
For more information on this project, visit HERE
RISE|Southeast Walking College
Two members of our partner organization, RISE|Southeast, were selected to participate as Fellows in the Colorado State Walking College hosted by America Walks and AARP Colorado. Lelia Gibson-Green and Jessi Bustamante are a part of the RISE|Southeast leadership team that created the Southeast COS Walking Group. TOSC has been a partner of this effort since it launched last October and we look forward to it being a perfect complement to the TOSC Get Out Get Healthy initiative. Lelia and Jessi will go through a 6 month program for walkable community advocates.
Photo: Lelia Gibson-Green and Jessi Bustamante with Joyce Salazar and Keyshon Cooks, the RISE|Southeast Walking Group leadership team on a scouting trip at Wildflower Park in Southeast Colorado Springs. You can join Lelia, Jessi and the other walking leaders during the weekly RISE|Southeast Walking Group activities, which can be found by visiting their Facebook page HERE
Reservations and Timed-Entries
Finding a place to hike or camp is beginning to resemble finding a place to dine on Mother’s Day. “Do you have a reservation?”
- Reservations are still required to ascend the Manitou Incline, although the attrition rate is 40% many days. Chances are good attendants will let you hike.
- From May 27th-September 30th, reservations and tickets will be needed to drive a private car to the Summit of Pikes Peak.
- Reservations are needed to enter Rocky Mountain National Park beginning May 27-June 30. The Hiking Shuttle also now requires reservations.
- Mount Evans Recreation Area requires timed-entry reservations again this year.
- Eldorado Canyon State Park near Boulder will soon require vehicle reservations Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
- Brainard Lake Recreation Area reservations (near Nederland) go on sale May 26.
- Close to home campsites at Cheyenne Mountain and Mueller S.P are filling up fast. CPW staff says it is the busiest year to-date. Do not wait to make a reservation if you plan to camp between now and Labor Day. Both parks now have rental cabins available.
Trail Ambassadors Needed in GMF
- Catamount Trail has reopened thanks to a land purchase by Green Mountain Falls Foundation. Thomas Trail will be closed Tues-Friday, May 24th – Aug 12th to allow for fire mitigation work.
Rainbow Falls Remains Closed
EPC Parks Staff reports Rainbow Falls Historic Site remains closed due to unstable rocks above the small parking lot. In 2020 40,538 people visited the Falls. Last year 28,251 explored the site. Numbers were lower due to construction.
“Glad You Asked”
From time to time we get questions worth sharing with all of you. Recently we were asked if paddle-boarding is allowed on Big Johnson Reservoir adjacent Bluestem Prairie Open Space. The answer is no – it’s private property. Paddle-boarding is allowed on Prospect Lake, Quail Lake, Monument Lake and Palmer Lake. When Gary Bostrom Reservoir is finally constructed and open on the city’s east side, water sports will be allowed.
Have a question you would like answered? Ask here.
TOSC Member Spring Hikes
TOSC Members enjoy the benefit of member hikes. Members, please check your email for an invitation to join us on these upcoming Spring Hikes!
Garden of the Gods Geology Hike
Sunday, June 12 meeting at 9:00am
Rock Ledge Ranch Parking Lot
Friday, July 8 meeting at 8:00am
Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center
Are you a member and did not receive an email invitation? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get an invitation to you! Become a Member of TOSC Today
Nominate a Park for Scoop the Poop
The 2022 Spring Scoop the Poop Challenge, sponsored by Animal ER Care, is on Saturday, June 11th. TOSC needs your help finding the parks with the worst pet waste issues. Fill out the survey below and TOSC will use the results to pick parks that will serve as sites for the challenge.
Sustain-a-Center Garden Crew
Fri. May 13, 9:00 – 1:00PM
TOSC and a few other amazing non-profits (Concrete Couch, CONO, Kids on Bikes) are housed at the Sustain-a-Center. We are teaming up with the City to transform the landscape and create a water-wise demonstration garden! This year we are creating a rain garden. Step one is to remove all the grass, we started this task last week and invite you to help us finish the job on Friday.
Please contact Sharie@
Cresta Open Space MTB Pump Track & Skills Trail Open House
Thursday, May 12th, 5pm to 6:30pm
The Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department invites community members to attend an open house to learn about plans for a new mountain bike pump track and skills trail in Cresta Open Space, which is located on Cresta Road, near Cheyenne Mountain High School. The open house is from 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 at Skyway Elementary School. Residents will be able to view maps, speak with city staff, and offer feedback on the trails. Construction on the project is expected to begin this summer. It is a recommendation of the North Cheyenne Cañon master and management plan.
Panorama Community Stakeholder Meeting
Friday, May 13th, 5pm to 7:30pm
Carmel Community School, 1740 Pepperwood Dr
Construction on Panorama Park – which is currently undergoing the largest neighborhood park renovation in Colorado Springs’ history – is on track to complete this summer! To get ready for the grand opening, please join us for a community conversation about activation, stewardship and safety in the new and improved park. Help us keep community at the forefront by taking your seat at the table.
For more information on Panorama Park, click here.
Lunar Eclipse Viewing @ CMSP
Sunday, May 15th, 8pm to Midnight
Colorado Springs Astronomical Society (CSASTRO) will be providing several astronomers and telescopes from 8 PM – Midnight on the East end of the Limekiln Trailhead Parking Lot for the Lunar Eclipse that is occurring on May 15th, 2022. The Mobile Earth Science Observatory (MESO) will also be set up in the Limekiln Trailhead Parking Lot for the duration of the event as well. CSASTRO will offer opportunities for people to take pictures of the eclipsed Moon with a smartphone through one (or more) of their telescopes with the help of a CSASTRO volunteer. CSASTRO will be calling out the different aspects of the event so attendees can follow along as we transition through the various phases of the Eclipse throughout the night. Free event, Park Pass Required.
Platte Avenue Corridor Open Houses
May 16th, 17th, and 25th
The City of Colorado Springs is inviting community members to attend a series of upcoming in-person open houses to share feedback on the ConnectCOS Transportation Plan and Platte Avenue Corridor Studies. Starting in mid-May, the City will host six open houses, one in each City Council District, to share comprehensive project updates, collect detailed feedback from the community and allow residents to ask detailed questions of project staff.
Learn more at ColoradoSprings.gov/
Thurs. May 26th, 4-6pm
Join Kids on Bikes Bike-A-Palooza on Thursday, May 26 at Meadows Park. Meadows Community Center and Kids on Bikes are teaming up to bring you a bike rodeo, food trucks, a group bike ride and more fun for the whole family! Be sure to bring your bike and helmet.