Tragedy at Bluestem
A tragedy took place recently in Bluestem Prairie Open Space where a 6-year old child was bitten and killed by a rattlesnake. Our thoughts are with the family, friends and everyone who is impacted by this tragic loss.
The best way to prevent rattlesnake encounters is to give them plenty of room and respect. Staying on system trails and keeping pets leashed will prevent the majority of encounters. If you see a rattlesnake, or a snake that you are unsure of, your first step is to stop in place. After quickly assessing the situation, move slowly back away from the snake. If you are bitten, move to a safe area and call 911. If cell service doesn’t work, move slowly toward the trail head or the last place there was cell service if that is closer.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Happy 25th Birthday TOPS
This week the COS Parks Advisory Board will vote on the 2023 Parks Budget. We’ve been highlighting projects proposed for next year.
In the TOPS Parks Category there are 4 projects totaling $800,000.
-Boulder Park Landscaping (sports courts are currently being resurfaced)
-Grey Hawk Park Planning (1 of 15 promised parks waiting to be planned and constructed)
-Memorial Park Irrigation on the west side of Prospect Lake
-Oak Meadows Park Playground Replacement
The remainder of the funds ($1,424,581) will be used for park operations.
Fixing the Oak Meadows playground is a great start. There are 20 other playgrounds in Colorado Springs also in bad shape. And 25-30 sports courts desperately in need of resurfacing.
Black Forest Section 16 Update
This Thursday at 1:30 pm the EPC Parks Advisory Board is holding a listening session on the property. Park Staff will explain the history of the lease and options to take. You are invited to attend and speak. Centennial Hall, 200 Cascade Avenue. As you recall, the 25 year lease for the 91 acres including the 4 mile loop trail expires this year. The State Land Board has offered a 10 year lease for $21,825 per year.
Trail Mobility Program
El Paso County Community Services Department recently purchased two, off road Terrain Hoppers with the support of The Independence Center to be used by members of the community with physical limitations. These vehicles will create opportunities to experience nature in new ways. As part of this program, the Nature Centers will be training volunteers to accompany participants as they journey the trails in the Terrain Hopper vehicles. Volunteers will provide assistance to their fellow community members as they access trails and natural resources they may not have previously experienced. Terrain Hopper reservations will be offered from July 26th to October 29th. For more information, call EPC Community Services at 719-520-6399.
Pre-Registration and Complete Application Required for Training Classes
To register for the July 8th training at Bear Creek Nature Center, contact Mary Jo Lewis at 719-520-6388/ firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for the July 23rd training at Fountain Creek Nature Center, contact Jessica Miller at 719-520-6765/ email@example.com.
Public Comment: Colorado Water Plan
The Colorado Water Conservation Board has released a draft of the 2023 Colorado Water Plan for a 90-day public comment period. The plan focuses on four major areas that are interconnected and work together: Vibrant Communities, Robust Agriculture, Thriving Watersheds, and Resilient Planning. There is a section of the plan that highlights forest and watershed safety as well as outdoor recreation’s impact on Colorado water.
Glow for Good
Wed. July 20, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
Red Leg Brewing Company
Urban Veggie, CrossFit SoCo, DJ Craftmatic, & Red Leg are hosting an evening of music, movement, community, spirits, giveaways, & philanthropic goodness! In the honor of National Parks and Recreation Month, TOSC has been chosen as the honored nonprofit and will funds raised from the evening!
The evening will consist of a 60 minute Hatha/Power sequence by Christy Cole (Urban Veggie), a 30 minute Bodyweight HIIT class by Garrison Ortiz (CrossFit SoCo), and then some FANTASTIC local vendors/businesses will be providing giveaways to keep the good vibes flowing!
$25 gets you 2 classes, 1 “opportunity to win” ticket, and 1 beer!
Sat. Aug 13, 8:30pm Walk/Run; 10:30pm Bike Ride
The 26th Starlight Spectacular is in the Garden of the Gods Park this August! Experience one of the world’s top attractions under the blanket of thousands of twinkling stars and distant city lights. Don’t miss out on live music, amazing themed rest stops, pancakes, costume contests and more!
Events like this don’t happen without amazing volunteers. Signup as a Volunteer
How to Decorate Yourself and Your Bike in Lights
One of biggest Starlight Spectacular traditions is decorating your bike in lights. This year, there will be two contests where the best lights on runners/walkers and bikes will win bikes from Ted’s Bicycle Shop! For bikes, previous riders have used battery operated fairy lights on handle bars or used LED tape lights on the frame. For the runners and walkers, a clear backpack is perfect for a themed light display. Don’t forget about using glow in the dark face paint and temporary glow in the dark hair dye. If you are a part of a team, a themed costumes will steal the show.
We love and appreciate our TOSC Members! From time to time we offer unique “one of a kind” member only hikes. It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting our work.
Last week, we hiked the MacNeil Trail and enjoyed a birds eye view of Fisher Canyon Open Space (TOPS newest purchase). The Chamberlain Trail will eventually cross the property and connect to Cheyenne Mtn. State Park. TOSC created the application for the property which led to its purchase for $4million.
Again, thanks for supporting TOSC and be sure to join us for our next hike!
Thank you Veda!
During the month of April, Veda Salons chose TOSC as its Earth Month organization and raised close to $10,000! Clients had the opportunity to win great prizes including Stylists’ Services and were very generous. Thanks Veda GM Shannon Badgeley and her amazing Veda Team!
Red Rock Canyon Workday
Sat. July 16, 8:00 – 1:00 PM
This project will continue work improving drainage and trail to keep water off of and protect timber steps along the Contemplative Trail.
Volunteers will meet crew leaders the Sand Canyon lot for Red Rock Canyon. From the main entrance at 3550 W High St, take the first exit from the roundabout. Volunteers should bring: sturdy boots or shoes, rain jacket, long pants, work gloves, sunglasses/eye protection, sunscreen, a hat, water, and snacks.
Sat. July 16, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Drop in for an engaging presentation on Bear Safety with one of CPW’s District Wildlife Managers, Cassidy English. Bear Aware is an educational wildlife program with a goal to teach human responsibility in removing attractants in order to reduce conflicts with black bears in Colorado. Meet at Prairie Falcon Amphitheater. Free Event, Park Pass Required. No Registration required.
COS Parks/US Forest Service Stewardship Day
Sat. July 23, 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 on July 23rd for a partnered stewardship day. Your help is need to restore two areas on the boundary of the USFS Pike National Forest and Blodgett Open Space that have seen significant damage from cut-through traffic and off-trail use.
El Paso County Parks: Paint Mines Interpretive Hike
July 23rd, 9:30 – 11:30am
Paint Mines guided hikes will occur on select Saturdays and will cover topics such as the geology, ecology, and human history of the site. Our amazing interpreters will show you around the park and the fascinating rock features while they share with you their vast knowledge of the area . They will bring out some of the amazing artifacts and fossils that have been found and have protected for everyone to see.
Pulpit Rock Workday
Sat. July 30, 8:30 – 12:00 PM
Come join your fellow community members at the Pulpit Rock mitigating erosion hazards and restoring recently closed areas of the park. The group will be starting from the South trailhead behind the BMW dealership and splitting into teams. Volunteers should bring: sturdy boots or shoes, rain jacket, long pants, work gloves, sunglasses/eye protection, sunscreen, a hat, water, and snacks.