Recommit to Get Out Get Healthy
School is out. Warm weather is upon us. The smell of barbeque, lilacs, and rain waft through the air. All of that can only mean one thing: summer is here! The timing couldn’t be better to get outside to spend time in our parks, trails, and open spaces.
As kids are spending less time in school and more time at home, it’s important to make sure their days are filled with physical activity. A study published this month by the American Academy of Pediatrics, highlights the benefits of physical activity stating that it “fosters physical growth and development and can make people feel better, function better, sleep better, and reduce the risk of a large number of chronic diseases.” The study goes on to say that all patterns of physical activity are beneficial—including sporadic, brief bouts, or continuous. Don’t let routines or disciplined schedules be a barrier. Any amount of physical activity will lead to benefits. And the benefits are even greater when physical activity takes place in the outdoors.
At a time when we are all reeling from violence in our nation and around the world, it’s important to recognize the connection between nature, community cohesion and decreased crime. A study published in BioScience in 2015 highlights the role of nature on social outcomes. The more time we as individuals spend in nature, the more we perceive our community as close and cohesive. Being in nature enhances our connections with our community. More social cohesion within our communities is linked to improved personal outcomes, such as: “higher levels of happiness, fewer hours spent on media sources…, better perceived workplace performance, and more environmental action.” The study further goes on to describe that having access to nature decreases crime. The more connections we have with nature, the better our personal outcomes our, the better our communities are, and the less crime our communities experience!
Summer is the perfect time to recommit to Get Out Get Healthy! Do it for yourself. Do it for your community.
This article was contributed by Autumn Orser, MD. (Pediatrician with Peak Vista Community Health Centers and member of the TOSC Board of Directors)
PARK AND TRAIL News
Public Review of 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: https://communityservices.elpasoco.com/wp-content/uploads/Parks_Planning/Homestead-Ranch-Master-Plan-Draft.pdf
- Homestead Ranch Webpage: https://communityservices.elpasoco.com/parks-and-recreation/homestead-ranch-regional-park/
- Park Planning Webpage: https://communityservices.elpasoco.com/parks-planning/
A public hike hosted by El Paso County Parks will be held 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.
Significant Landslide Closes Palmer/Red Rock Trail
The Palmer/Red Rock Trail in Section 16 (Bear Creek Canyon) is closed from High Drive to the Gold Camp Road Trailhead. A powerful landslide damaged a 100ft section of the trail and created unsafe conditions in the area. Please honor all trail closure signs and barricades. No timeline is available for the trail’s reopening.
Is Section 16 one of your favorite hiking destinations? While the closure is in place, take time to explore other areas around the Pikes Peak region. Check out TOSC’s Get Out Spread Out page to find other trails.
Phase 15-E of the City of Colorado Springs’ updated ADA Title II Transition Plan
The public is invited to comment on Phase 15-E of the City of Colorado Springs’ updated ADA Title II Transition Plan. Phase 15-E includes neighborhood parks: Buckskin Charlie Park, Candleflower Park, Discovery Park, Explorer Park, Fairfax Park, Foothills Park, Ford Frick Park, Frank Castello Park, Frontier Park, Golden Hills Park, John Stone Park, Kathleen Marriage Park, Lulu Pollard Park, Marshall Sprague Park, Meadowridge Park, Mountain Shadows Park, Oak Valley Ranch Park, Pinecliff Park, Pinion Valley Park, Wedgewood Park, Wickes Park, Woodmen Valley Park, and Woodstone Park.
The self-evaluations can be viewed on the City’s website at ColoradoSprings.gov/adatransitionplan. Public Comment on Phase 15-E will be accepted until July 5, 2022 by email: ADAcompliance@ColoradoSprings.gov.
Wildlife Safety Alert
On June 1st, Colorado Parks and Wildlife placed a notice at the trailhead for the 702 Lovell Gulch Trail (North of Woodland Park) warning trail users of a cow moose, with a calf, exhibiting aggressive behavior on the trail. Extra attention is needed during the late spring and early summer to avoid dangerous wildlife interactions during peak baby wildlife season. Report aggressive wildlife behavior to the CPW Colorado Springs office at 719-227-5200.
Scoop the Poop
Sat. June 11, 9:00 – 12:00PM
Join TOSC for the third Scoop the Poop Challenge, sponsored by Animal ER Care. There will be information at Red Rock Canyon Open Space, North Cheyenne Canon Park, Black Forest Section 16, Blodgett Open Space and Palmer Park. Pledge to remove your pet’s waste or scoop pet waste to be entered in a raffle for a pet first aid kit.
Did You Know?
There are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste and those bacteria can make animals and humans sick. Domestic dogs are not part of the natural ecosystem, which operates in a closed loop system, so what comes out of your dog is excess unneeded nutrients. Furthermore, if not disposed of properly, pet waste can end up in your drinking water and where you recreate.
Click Here to learn how to protect our Fountain Creek Watershed.
Columbia Grand Opening
Looking for a way to support TOSC and check out the new Columbia Store opening in Briargate? Columbia will donate 10% of qualified purchases made during its grand opening weekend. To quality your purchase and make sure 10% is donated to TOSC, be sure to present the barcode on the attached image to your sales clerk!
Sustain-a-Center Rain Garden Progress
Last week, TOSC, Concrete Couch and community volunteers planted dozens of plants that thrive on low water conditions into the new rain garden at the Sustain-a-Center. The next phase of the project will be spreading and caring for drought tolerant grass, featuring buffalo grass and sheep fescue, in the drainage basins.
Saturday, August 13
8:30pm Walk/Run; 10:30pm Bike Ride
The Starlight Spectacular is back! Early Bird Registration for the Starlight Spectacular is open. Click HERE and enter the code “EarlyBird” to receive a $5 Early Bird Discount!
Learn about the new format and route starlightspectacular.org
TOSC at Get Outdoors Day
Congratulations to the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance, CPW, City of Colorado Springs and all the partners who made the event a massive success. Between 3,000-5,000 people attended the event at Memorial Park. TOSC staff talked to hundreds of families, giving advice on trails that are suitable for a wide range of abilities and sharing the history of how parks are funded locally. Many people left with dog park maps, TOSC stickers and new insight into how they can be park advocates.
Ring the Springs Community Expo
Fri. June 10, 8:00 – 1:00 PM
We are excited for the upcoming Ring the Springs Community Expo being hosted by Aravaipa Colorado Running & Rides this Friday at America the Beautiful Park from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. Along with TOSC, there will be multiple organizations all focused on supporting our beautiful parks, trails and open spaces in the Pikes Peak Region. There will be a couple of fun run opportunities during the Expo. This is in preparation for the first-year 50 & 100 mile running race taking place on Saturday and Sunday.
For more info, visit HERE
Stewardship Work Day: Blodgett
Sat. June 11, 8:00 – 1:00 PM
Join the U.S. Forest Service – Pikes Peak Ranger District and the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services department for a workday on June 11 to restore two areas on the boundary of Blodgett Open Space and Pike National Forest that has seen significant damage from cut-through traffic and off-trail use.
Contributing your skills and passion to the conservation of our public lands helps support sustainable and healthy spaces for both human recreation and wildlife habitat. Please join us for a day to give back to the land that has given so much to us all.
Friends of Cheyenne Canon Workday
Sat. June 11th, 8:30 – 12:00 PM
North Cheyenne Canon Park was dramatically impacted by the late May snowstorm and we are working hard to get things cleaned up. We’d love to have you join us for a workday for corridor clearing in the upper sections of the park as well as working on picnic tables in the lower part of the park.
Community Cruise Kickoff
Sun. June 12, 1:00-3:00 PM
Join Rise|Southeast and their project partners Kids on Bikes, TOSC, Bike Colorado Springs and the City of Colorado Springs as they kick off the successful Community Cruise ride series for the Summer season. Mayor Suthers will be pedaling with the ride this Sunday at 1:00pm. Please consider joining us as we celebrate connectivity and access to our parks using the Sand Creek Trail to visit Wildflower Park in Southeast Colorado Springs. Oh, and popsicles!
The ride will take place at the Southeast Armed Services YMCA, located at 2190 Jet Wing Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80916. We will all be gathering early and the ride will depart at 1:00pm. The route is 2.15 miles each way, all on paved trails and connections.
For more information and how to register, please visit the event page HERE
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Convening Voices for Land Stewardship
Tues. June 21st, 4:30pm
Join local open space and outdoor recreation 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.