News Wednesday November 30, 2022

Fox Run Nature Center – Turning a Goal into Reality

In the 2013 Parks Master Plan a new nature center for northern El Paso County was highlighted as a priority. With 1 million dollars raised and another million committed by EPC Commissioners from the 2023 general fund, that goal is closer to becoming real. A design for the nature center could be completed by the end of 2023. The public will be asked to provide feedback before construction begins.


Total project cost = @$3.5 million. We will continue to provide updates. A new nature center in Fox Run Park will fill a critical need in a rapidly growing part of the county. Kudos to EPC Parks Staff and BoCC!


Return to the Northern Return Trail


The Northern Return Trail (NRT), which recently turned two years old back in September, remains the region’s best kept secret that is hiding in plain sight. Around 70,000 people annually visit the Manitou Incline. That means that tens of thousands of people miss out on the quiet solitude and world class views of the NRT. On the day before Thanksgiving, the NRT was empty while dozens of groups of people

worked their way up the Incline. People can access the NRT at step 1,300 and follow the trail back down the hill for 1.6 miles to the base of the Incline. This loop is great for visitors who want to experience the Incline but do not want to invest the time and energy to do all 2,768 steps and return on Barr Trail. The flow of the trail is wonderful for contemplation while listening to the songs of the juncos, towhees and chickadees and taking in the amazing vistas in all directions. Learn More About the Northern Return Trail

What’s on your wish list this holiday season?


How about more and better dog parks. Some of us have come to the conclusion that dog parks are wonderful ways to make friends, build community AND give your pooch valuable play time.

Since our city and county parks require dogs to be on leashes, we love the freedom dog parks provide.

We’re sensitive to the damage dogs do to vegetation, but if we all did a better job of cleaning up after our dogs and had more parks so we could spread out – that would help!

My family has a new puppy who is now 5 months old. The Fox Run dog park has been great for Mei-zi and our marriage. She comes home happy and relaxed and so do we.

Dog Park experts say the best dog parks contain these:

  • One or more acres of space for dogs to run and play.
  • Four- to six-foot fencing around the park.
  • Double gate system to keep pets safe as they go in and out of the park off-leash.
  • Separate large and small dog areas. (Bear Creek and Fox Run have this)
  • Hydration station(s) for dogs. (Some kind regulars keep dishes of water available for all dogs AND routinely clean-up after their dog and others)
  • A suitable surface for running dogs.
  • Exercise equipment and obstacles for dogs to climb.
  • Water feature for dogs to play in. (Bear Creek has a….creek)
  • Shade for both dogs and owners.

Adequate parking is also a plus.

Let us know which is your favorite dog park and why. And remember – dogs can be TOSC members too and receive a lovely TOSC bandana.

See you at the dog park!

Scooters – Year Two


Scooters arrived in COS in October of 2021. City Council recently received a program report and a

preview of what to expect in year two. During the first year the number of scooters was limited to 600.

Next year that number will increase to 900. Scooters were not allowed on Tejon or Old Colorado City sidewalks but will in 2023. And operating hours will increase to 24-7.

Some interesting statistics:

  • Of the 743 complaints, 98% related to parking and 2% related to rider behavior
  • The majority of complaints were made by 4 people
  • 178,000 total trips…mostly made on weekends
  • 76,000 riders traveled 273,000 miles
  • The majority of trips were on Tejon and Cascade

Not changing in 2023: scooter users will not be able to ride in parks or on urban trails


TOSC & Fossil Craft Beer Company Winter Warmer Release!


Ok, now that the truly cold weather and wintery conditions have arrived, it’s time to tap our Winter Warmer collaboration beer at the release next Thursday, December 8th. TOSC staff and board members joined in with the team at Fossil Craft Beer Company to brew something truly special for this benefit beer, and proceeds from the sale of this ale will benefit the Trails and Open Space Coalition. Abundant love along with cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg have been used to infuse this brew with all the warmth and flavor that the holiday season needs. The theme for this festive event is Ugly Sweater, so dig through that closet or visit the Arc as we bet the competition will be fierce to see just who can dress to impress the most…or least!

When: Thursday, December 8th @6:00pm   

Where: Fossil Craft Beer Company, 2845 Ore Mill Road Suite 1, Colorado Springs CO 80904

For more details check out the Facebook Event.

Scheels Giving Campaign Voting


Vote for TOSC! This giving season, the Colorado Springs Scheels location will be donating $80,000 (2 – $20,000 and 4 – $10,000 cash donations) to local nonprofits that serve the Pikes Peak region. Voting ends on December 4th and winners will be announced on December 6th .

Here is how you vote…

1) Visit

2) Vote for TOSC in the Outdoor Recreation Organization category.

3) Share this link with friends and family!


Bear Creek by Candlelight

Fri. Dec 2nd, 5:00-8:00pm


Kick off the holiday season at Bear Creek Nature Center during Bear Creek by Candlelight! The nature center will be transformed into a winter wonderland with luminary-lit trails, live music, Santa, crafts, hot chocolate and chili dinner from Texas Roadhouse! $8 per person (or $7 per member) includes dinner and all activities.

Space is limited for this popular annual tradition. Pre-register here.


Volunteers are Still Needed for this Event.


The biggest need is for volunteers on the trails and helping with parking. If you are interested in helping out, please email Mary Jo Lewis at

Winter Day in the Park

Fri Dec 2nd, 3:30 – 5:00 PM 


Kick off the holiday season with the City of Woodland Park! Winter Day in the Park features hot chocolate, candy cane lane, petting zoo, pictures with Santa and more! Enjoy the second annual Elf Scramble – walk around Memorial Park and look for candy canes and elves! If you find an elf, you get a prize! Be sure to dress warm and bring a flashlight! 


More Information


Blackpackers- Hiker Trash Prom

Sat. Dec 3rd, 5:30pm – 10pm


This year marks a significant milestone in Blackpackers history. It is our first annual fundraiser and we are hosting it at the beautiful Clay Venues in Downtown Colorado Springs. At this year’s “Hiker Trash” prom you can expect live local music, dancing, food and beverage, drinks from local breweries and wineries, speakers, and a silent auction. Together, we’ll raise a glass in celebration of our progress toward making outdoor recreation more accessible to all members of our community. We are also thrilled

to share with you more details about upcoming Blackpackers’ programming in 2023. Purchase tickets here.

CMSP Christmas Tree Sale

Dec. 3rd/4th and 10th/11th, 10:00am-3:00pm


The Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park are hosting a Christmas Tree sale as a fundraiser for the park. The freshly cut trees came from wildfire mitigation in the park and will be available for donation over select weekends in December. Instead of seeing the wood chipper, these trees will have loving homes for this holiday season.

Facebook Event Page

Liquid Lecture



It will still be at 6pm, hosted by Storybook Brewing and featuring Emily Mooney, PhD with a discussion on a species of hops native to Colorado! Come learn more while enjoying $1 off pints!

Please RSVP to

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