New Trail to Check Out
A local developer is donating 352 acres on four parcels near Kettle Creek that will one day offer trail opportunities to the public. The property is near a potential TOPS acquisition identified as candidate open space in the last Parks Master Plan. Both COS Parks Advisory Board and TOPS Working Committee unanimously supported the proposal. Upon City Council approval of the donation and land exchange involving Larry Ochs Sports Complex, planning can begin that will eventually lead to public access. TOSC is pleased because there are few TOPS properties for residents in the northern part of our community.
Briargate residents help pay the TOPS tax and should have access to quality open space.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Friends Group Spotlight
In the Pikes Peak region, there are more than 20 active Friends Groups who volunteer for local parks and open spaces. Recently, the Friends of Ute Pass Trails achieved a significant milestone by achieving nonprofit 501c3 status. In 2022, the group has helped guide the Mile High Youth Corps on a project and have also performed trail maintenance on hiking trails on Green Mountain Falls land. With over 1,300 combined service hours in 2022, the Friends of Ute Pass Trails have made a sizable impact on our local trail community.
Learn More about the Friends of Ute Pass Trails
Progress in Austin Bluffs
Before the master plan process was completed for Austin Bluffs Open Space in 2020, there was an out of control network of non-system trails that braided across the open space. Everyone who visited the open space had their favorite paths that wrapped around the park. Most of these “trails” were unsustainable. A few were outright dangerous and the confusing network of braided trails segmented wildlife habitats. Under the direction of the recent master plan, the City of Colorado Springs has been restoring old non-system trails while building new trails. For those who have used the park for a long time, this has created moments of confusion when an old beloved path is suddenly closed or a new trail leads in a different direction than what is expected. As the City finishes their work, these moments of uncertainty will slowly vanish and the new network of trails will help create new favorite places to explore and new memories. Until the work is done, it is crucial to respect trail closure signs and refrain from creating new paths. In next week’s e-newsletter, we will learn about the role TOSC has played with promoting volunteerism in the park and how you can be involved.
Learn more about the current Austin Bluffs Open Space Master Plan
Be sure to Vote!
TOSC has taken a position in favor of 7A – PPRTA3. The extension will not raise taxes but will contribute @$10million to urban trail projects over the next 10 years if passed. Nearly every trail we use is on the A list!
Check EPC Commissioner Candidates responses to questions on the value of our county parks and trails and the need to provide additional resources. The link is here.
Centennial Blvd Extension project
Last Friday, the long planned extension of Centennial Blvd from W. Fillmore St. to W. Fontanero St. was opened with a ribbon cutting attended by Mayor John Suthers and a host of elected officials from throughout the region. This PPRTA-funded project was designated as a priority connection for this region of Colorado Springs back in 2001 through the City’s Intermodal Transportation Plan. While the primary corridor is a 4-lane minor arterial, the project also includes a 10-foot multiuse path that runs along the western side of the roadway, separated by landscaping and taking a meandering path at times to increase the aesthetic quality of the corridor. The project includes a pedestrian-operated traffic signal that will allow safe crossing of the roadway for neighborhood users wishing to gain access to the Mesa Valley Trail and Sonderman Park. Major work on the roadway has been completed and it is open for operation, however additional work will continue as weather permits on several project elements, including the multiuse path. The team will make every effort to have the major elements completed by Thanksgiving time and we’ll update with the specifics as soon as they are available.
To find out more about the project: coloradosprings.gov/centennialblvdextension
Ready. Set. Give!
The Give Campaign has officially started and TOSC is one of the 70+ nonprofits in the campaign! From now until December 31st , your donation through the Give Campaign will help support TOSC’s advocacy for the creation and conservation of an interconnected network of trails, parks and open spaces across the Pikes Peak region.
TOSC has two upcoming Give events that you can participate in!
Join us tomorrow Thurs. Nov. 3rd from 6:00-8:00PM. TOSC, Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) and Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance (PPORA) are hosting the 2nd Annual Trout ‘N Trails Pint Night! Drop in at this FREE event at Angler’s Covey for beer (Thanks Fossil Brewing), donation-based prize drawings throughout the evening, fly fishing demos, and more! This is an open-house style event, but the first 40 attendees will get a free logoed pint glass! Parking will be limited, so arrive early.
Check out Facebook Event
Wed. Nov 16th, TOSC will be one of the participating organizations at Friends Giving at the Black Forest Community Center with 3 other great local nonprofits. Join us for an evening of fun, music and libations and support Tri-Lakes Cares, Trails & Open Space Coalition, Paws N Hooves, and Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates while enjoying music by Black Rose Acoustic Society. You can enjoy tastings from local breweries and snacks. Enter door prize drawings and learn more about these four nonprofits providing services of different types in northern El Paso County.
Help TOSC move up the leaderboard with a donation today! Give here.
Are you enjoying our TOPS Story Map project? Good news – we will be featuring Bluestem Prairie Open Space as our next TOPS favorite. Located near the airport, the unique grassland was preserved 22 years ago and is important habitat for wildlife and migrating birds. You’ll meet Stephen Harris who helped preserve the property, and learn why it was worth saving. Watch for Bluestem Prairie coming soon!
1% for the Planet is a program that encourages businesses to put people and the planet over profit. We are so lucky that local realtor Lauren Collier of Live Dream Colorado is a member of 1% for the Planet and supports TOSC. Thank you Lauren for another successful year and significant donation!
To learn more about 1% For the Planet: www.onepercentfortheplanet.org
Thank you Liz and Randy Price for their support from their Family Foundation. Their company, Rocky Mountain Restaurant Group, supports our community. Local conservation groups could not do what we do without businesses like these!
Palmer Park Work Day
Sat. Nov 5, 9:00 – 12:30 PM
The Guardians of Palmer Park invite you to a workday on Saturday. 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. Only preregistered volunteers will be accommodated. Volunteers are encouraged to provide their own work gloves and drinking water. The Guardians of Palmer Park will provide tools. Signup is Required! Please pick a group below.
Group 1: Park Cleanup
Group 2: Poop Fairies
Group 3: Trail Maintenance
Visiting Artists + Critics Series: Lauren McManus
Thurs. Nov 3, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
New Jersey-based artist Lauren Rosenthal McManus is VAPA’s Female Emerging Artist Residency Series resident for fall 2022. Her practice is centered on creating large, site-specific, temporary wall drawing murals of regional watersheds using pigments made from rocks and soil collected along their banks. Entry is free, but registration is requested.
Sat. Nov 5, 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Join Bear Creek Nature Center for our 8th Annual Bear Run–a family-friendly 5k and 3k fun run & walk! All new runners get a bear suit to keep and wear during the run. Returning runners can dust off their bear suit from previous Bear Runs and register at a discounted rate. NEW: Register your dog to run and compete in a dog costume contest!
The Friends of the Equestrian Skills Course are looking for more volunteer board members and course maintenance volunteers. Located at Bear Creek Regional Park, the Equestrian Skills Course is one of the most unique park features in all of the region. Potential volunteers do not have to have horses to participate with the group.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.