New TOPS Story Map
As TOPS celebrates it’s 25th year of preserving parks, trails and open spaces, TOSC has developed a unique “story map” that highlights three of the 70+ acquisitions facilitated by the TOPS program. The stories include narratives of three community members who were instrumental in helping to acquire and improve these properties for current and future generations of Colorado Springs residents.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Blue-Green Algae in Pikeview Reservoir
Blue-green algae was recently found in Pikeview Reservoir in Colorado Springs. People and pets are prohibited from entering the water. Fishing is permitted and anglers should thoroughly clean their catch. Colorado Springs Utilities has removed Pikeview as a source of drinking water at this time.
PPRTA 3 Update
In November, voters in El Paso County will decide whether to continue a sales tax designed to improve mobility in this region. Before the first Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) was passed, a coalition of leaders (including TOSC Ex. Dir. Dan Cleveland) came together and created an initiative that would improve roads and bridges along with sidewalks and trails. PPRTA 1 also allotted dollars for transit. Because maintenance is mandatory, only the capital projects portion of the tax is subject to voter approval every 10 years. PPRTA 3 includes a robust list of city trail improvements. If you use the Midland, Foothills, Homestead, Palmer-Mesa, Pikes Peak Greenway, Rock Island, Shooks Run, Sinton or Templeton Gap Trails; these are all “A list” projects assuring funding if the measure is passed. B list projects such as improvements to the Sand Creek Trail corridor “could” be completed if there is a adequate funding.
New CPW Species Conservation Dashboard
Enjoying the outdoors does not come without an impact. CPW has been working hard to protect 350 sensitive species. The new dashboard helps chart the progress the state’s conservation work that is outlined in the wildlife action plan. This information will create more awareness for people who recreate outdoors and the agencies that manage the land.
Big Leave No Trace Accomplishment
Congratulations to the staff, students and families of the Mountain Academy of Arts & Sciences at Ute Pass Elementary on becoming the first public school in the nation to become a designated Leave No Trace Accredited Youth Program. This Manitou Springs School District 14 school achieved this milestone after weaving Leave No Trace and stewardship education into their curriculum.
2022 Get Out Get Healthy Scavenger Hunt
Sept 17, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Join TOSC and Children’s Hospital Colorado-Colorado Springs for the 2nd Annual Get Out Get Healthy Scavenger Hunt at John Venezia Community Park! Details are being finalized and registration will go live later this week. Watch the TOSC Facebook page for more information.
Spectacular Starlight Volunteers
The 2022 Starlight Spectacular in Garden of the Gods Park was a huge success in large part because we had a core planning committee who proved to be “event rock-stars.”
Karen Shuman served as the Committee Chair and kept the team organized and focused on producing a spectacular event.
Mark Thieme and Randy Courduff were the leads on logistics. Together they created a plan that assured a seamless and safe event.
Sarah Hill was the lead for our fabulous rest stops (leader of the Colorado Springs Cycling Club rest stop) and used her years of experience to make sure rest stops were well-resourced and “wowed” participants.
Pam Wingard was the lead for the Jack Quinn’s Running Club rest stop and she coordinated the wonderful team that made the second rest stop unforgettable.
Fossil Brewing’s Megan Mater was the lead for the festival zone in the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center Parking Lot.
Brittany Logan shouldered the challenging role of volunteer lead and made sure we had the right people in the right spots.
Bob Purvine (known to many as “amazing Bob”) provided the spectacular start/finish line; and was the group’s creative problem solver. From coordinating support from the Pikes Peak Marathon & Assent to helping load and unload trucks, Bob was there every step of the way.
Kent Drummond was the e-bike and promotional materials distribution lead.
For 25 years Tony Hoewisch (Ted’s Bike Shop) was the heart and soul of the event and for our 26th, Tony was right there providing wisdom and a steady hand.
Every major event takes a talented and dedicated crew to make a good event great. Again, thanks to our 26th Starlight Spectacular planning team.
Walking Audit of the South Sand Creek Trail in Southeast Colorado Springs
This past Sunday, Lelia Gibson-Green, a RISE|Southeast Resident Leader and Colorado State Walking College Fellow, assembled a team of local advocates to perform a walking audit along the Sand Creek Trail in Southeast Colorado Springs. The section selected was the segment that will connect to the new crossing being built at Hancock Expressway, heading north to the recently upgraded crossing at Chelton Road. The new trail segment and crossing at Hancock Expressway will create the first urban trail connection in Southeast Colorado Springs.
While this segment of the Sand Creek Trail was found to be in good material shape, the audit found numerous ways in which it could be enhanced and improved. These recommendations will be used to make a Walking Action Plan. This plan, a part of Lelia’s 6 month fellowship program sponsored by AARP and America Walks, is one of many dynamic processes that are taking place for the urban trail corridor and parks in Southeast Colorado Springs. When the Lelia’s Walking Action Plan is done, we will share the results. TOSC is pleased to be a supportive project partner for many of these efforts and we will continue to pursue additional opportunities to create a healthier, better-connected region for the residents of Southeast Colorado Springs!
Cheyenne Canon: Noxious Weed Workday
Thurs. Sep 1st, 5:0 – 7:00 PM
The Friends of Cheyenne Canon are hosting a noxious weed workday. Volunteers will learn about noxious weeds and help remove them from North Cheyenne Canon Park. The group will meet on the veranda behind the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center. Gloves are mandatory.
Ute Valley Park: Volunteer Work Day
Wed. Sep 7th, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Come join the Friends of Ute Valley on our Wednesday night volunteer work session! We will be performing trail closure and restoration tasks along Rattlesnake Ridge. Please wear pants and closed-toe shoes, bring work gloves, eye protection, sunscreen, water, and snacks.
Meet up location is at the Vindicator Trailhead – 1645 Vindicator Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80919 You must register to participate in this event.
Full Moon Hike
Fri. Sep 9th, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Fox Run Regional Park
The full moon has always been a source of mystery, myth, and folklore. While on a 1.5-mile hike under the full moon, leaders will share stories of the night and the moon. Leave your flashlights at home and let the moon light our way. For ages 5 and up. $5 per person/ $4 per member.
Horsethief Trail Crew
Sat. Sep 10th, 8:00 – 5:00 PM
Join Colorado Mountain Club and Friends of the Peak to continue work on the trail reroute, where an encroachment onto private property was discovered. The crew will focus on smoothing the tread, creating a better critical edge, and cutting in a backslope. Please bring gloves, water, snacks, lunch, sunscreen, and hat. The work area is about a half-mile and 500′ elevation from the trailhead. Carpool from Trails End Taproom, 3103 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, at 7:15 AM or meet at the Trailhead by 8:00 AM.
Signup at www.cmc.org
Palmer Park Work Day
Sat. Sept 10, 8:30 – 1:00 PM
The Guardians of Palmer Park are teaming up with The Mission Continues to honor the victims of 9/11/2001. You are invited to be a part of the effort! Please sign up for one of the following work crews:
All working groups will meet at the Maizeland Parking Lot near the storage container next to the Baseball field. Crews will assemble there and be dispensed to the actual work sites. Please bring work gloves and water, the Guardians of Palmer Park will provide tools. See you Saturday!
Pikes Peak Bigfoot benefit hike
Sat. Sept 24, 8:30 – 2:30 PM
Are you ready to find Bigfoot? This is a laidback hunt, and being on the trail at 8:30 will not guarantee you seeing him. Show up when you can and you’ll still have the same chance as everyone else. The hunt would take place along part of the Ring the Peak trail, more specifically Mt Esther/Crowe Gulch Trail. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Peak, a volunteer group that works to preserve the many miles of trails on Pikes Peak.
Pikes Peak Marathon & Ascent: Volunteers
The Pikes Peak Ascent and the Pikes Peak Marathon have over 300 volunteer positions open.
Open positions include:
– Expo/Post-Race Event including merchandise sales, runners’ food & refreshments, information and direction guides, and street crossing assistants.
– Aid stations along Barr Trail. This does require hiking up from the base OR hiking down from the summit. Transportation will be provided depending on the location of the aid station.
– Pikes Peak Summit including Sherpas, Course Marshals, summit aid station, and medals. Transportation provided.