Black Forest Section 16
For the past 25 years El Paso County has been leasing 90 acres of Black Forest Section 16 for $452/year. A sweet deal indeed. The lease is expiring and the new cost per year is proposed to be a whopping $21,825!!
Certainly land prices have gone up but a 4500% increase seems excessive. TOSC has written the State Land Board asking them to consider a phased in approach to the increase, recognizing that the 4-mile perimeter trail is used extensively by equestrians, cyclists, hikers and runners and contributes greatly to the quality of life for residents in this county. Let us know what you think, firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share your thoughts with El Paso County Parks Staff and the Board of Commissioners who will decide whether to extend the lease for an additional 10 years.
PARK AND TRAIL News
TOPS and COS Parks projects in 2023
Each year in late spring we find out which trail, park and open space projects will be funded the following year. This week we highlight a couple of proposed projects: Blodgett/Pikeview Open Space Master and Management Plan to be funded out of TOPS for $250,000. And Black Canyon Open Space quarry reclamation – $450,000. The Blodgett plan will lead to trail construction and more recreation options. Once Black Canyon quarry is reclaimed, a master plan will eventually lead to a trailhead and access to Waldo Canyon. All of us are eager to explore new trails in and around Blodgett and get back into beloved Waldo Canyon. None of this occurs quickly but progress WILL be made in 2023 if the budget is approved by the TOPS WC and Parks Advisory Board.
Coleman Community Park Meeting
Thurs. June 16, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Join us at Coleman Community Park to learn more about this exciting park design and development project and share your ideas! This is the first in a series of at least three planned community forums that will help inform the park’s master plan.
Coleman Community Park is a 70-acre mostly undeveloped community park site expected to be comparable to Memorial or John Venezia community Parks, with sports fields and a playground. The project involves three vision areas: Creating an active sports hub, integrating Sand Creek and nature and community park amenities.
Love Parks? El Paso County Needs You!
Have a few extra hours a month? Consider serving on the El Paso County Park Advisory Board. Applications for the open positions are due by June
24, 2022. There are 3 openings:
District 5 Representative (central EPC)
District 1 Representative (northern EPC)
District 4 Representative (southern EPC)
The Park Advisory Board reviews and comments on items and proposals related to park policies, philosophies and objectives, and makes formal recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners. The Parks Advisory Board meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall, 200 S. Cascade Ave.
Apply on line at bocc.elpasoco.com/volunteer
Homestead Ranch Master Plan
El Paso County Parks invites the public to review the draft Homestead Ranch Regional Park Master Plan. The Master Plan provides guidance for the next seven to ten years for capital improvements, construction of open space amenities, implementation of educational programs, and operations and maintenance.
The draft Master Plan is available to review at the following online locations:
- Direct Link: communityservices.elpasoco.com/wp-content/uploads/Parks_Planning/Homestead-Ranch-Master-Plan-Draft.pdf
- Homestead Ranch Webpage: communityservices.elpasoco.com/parks-and-recreation/homestead-ranch-regional-park
- Park Planning Webpage: communityservices.elpasoco.com/parks-planning
Join El Paso County Parks for a hike at Homestead Ranch Regional Park on Friday, June 24th at 2:00pm. This is an opportunity to take a guided hike and provide input for the Master Plan.
Please send your comments to Greg Stachon, El Paso County Community Services Landscape Architect, via email GregStachon@elpasoco.com by Friday, July 8, 2022.
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT ENDS WEDNESDAY!
Saturday, August 13
8:30pm Walk/Run; 10:30pm Bike Ride
The Early Bird Discount for the Starlight Spectacular ends at midnight! Click HERE and
enter the code “EarlyBird” to receive a $5 Early Bird Discount.
Starlight Spectacular is back! After a 2-year pause in 2020 and 2021, we are excited to re-
launch this event in a new format. Join us as we run, walk, or bike through Garden of the Gods
park…under the stars! Light up your bikes (and eBikes) and yourselves! Individuals, teams, and families welcome. Food, games, and festivities (including a costume contest!) add to the fun. Come experience a Spectacular night at the Garden of the Gods!
Looking for volunteer opportunities? REGISTER TO VOLUNTEER
Thank you Beth!
TOSC bids a reluctant farewell to Development Director Beth Desloges. Beth came to us 3 years ago from Upstate New York. She immediately clicked with the team and helped create great initiatives such as Get out Spread out, Get out Get Healthy and Scoop the Poop. Beth led efforts to connect with underserved constituents like local equestrians and helped re-energize our Ring the Peak Trail program.
A champion of our TOSC members and larger donors, Beth organized hikes, fund-raisers and our annual fall celebration.
She leaves us for a local military related non-profit where she will be the Executive Director, but has agreed to lend a hand to TOSC as her time allows. Beth – all the best to you, Greg, Ben and Eli.
You will always be part of the TOSC family!
Scoop the Poop
Thank you pet and trail lovers! Between 5 different sites, over 100 people participated in the Scoop the Poop Challenge! Around 35 pounds of pet waste was removed from area trails, ranging from Black Forest Section 16 to North Cheyenne Canon Park. TOSC would like to send a big thank you to Animal ER Care for sponsoring the event and handing out information that will help keep our community’s pets safe on trails this summer. You don’t have to wait until the next Scoop the Poop Challenge this fall to care about protecting our open spaces and watershed.
Learn how you can impact the water that flows through our community with the Fountain Creek Watershed Floodway and Greenway District.
Horsethief Park Trail Reroute
Sat. June 18, 7:30 – 3:00
Colorado Mountain Club & Friends of the Peak, will be conducting trail stewardship on Trail 704, the one that leads from Hwy 67 to Horsethief Park and beyond to Sentinel Point, Pancake Rocks, and the Ring the Peak Trail.
It was recently discovered that a short section of trail crossed private property, so it needs to be rerouted before the owner blocks access. For the most part, this will be straightforward work, so it would be an excellent time to get back into trail work or to try it for the first time! The crew is hoping to do all the work on Saturday June 18, with Sunday June 19 scheduled to finish up if needed. Those who are not CMC members will also need to complete the guest waiver, please send waiver receipt to email@example.com.
Convening Voices for Land Stewardship
Tues. June 21, 4:30pm
Join TOSC and other outdoor organizations for an evening of education and conversation on the sustainable use of outdoor spaces. Learn how to responsibly enjoy our public lands and get connected to volunteer opportunities! Appetizers will be provided.
Bike to Work DAY
Wed. June 22, 6:00 – 9:00 AM
Bike commuters can enjoy FREE breakfast at any of nearly 40 stations on the trail system and at local businesses! Register to ride and plan your commute with the interactive map. There’s no need to register for specific breakfast stations in advance, just let us know you’ll be riding. COMPLETE THE RIDE SPOT CHALLENGE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A BIKE.
Manitou Springs Pollinator Party
Sat. June 25, 9:00 – 12:00 PM
A parade, garden planting, live bluegrass music, seed giveaways and much more will be happening at Mansion’s Park in Manitou. The Manitou Pollinators, Butterfly Pavilion, Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District and other community partners, are hosting multiple family-friendly festivities during Pollinator Week, June 20-26th. The goal is to raise awareness, provide fun activities, and facilitate multiple events supporting bees, butterflies, and clean water.
Event is free and open to everyone. Visit www.manitoupollinators.org for more information.