News Wednesday January 18, 2023

“Tweaks” to TOPS

After TOPS failed in Nov 2021, we asked “why?” Hard to understand ballot language was one answer. When voters see the ballot in April it will be much simpler. No tax increase and no change to the program percentages.

In 2013 voters were asked if TOPS parks dollars could be used for non-TOPS parks. Voters overwhelmingly said yes.

In April voters will be asked if TOPS trail and open space maintenance dollars can be used on non-TOPS trails and open spaces. That means ALL of Ute Valley Park would be eligible for TOPS dollars – not just the eastern half. It means portions of the Sand Creek and Rock Island Trail now ineligible for resurfacing could be improved and increase safety for trail users.

It’s just common sense.


Coleman Community Park – Community Forum #3 (Rescheduled)

Have you ever wandered through one of our many parks and wondered why it was designed that way?

The type of playground, number of sports courts or why they put the pavilions where they did? By participating in the Coleman Community Park planning process, you have the chance to be part of the decision-making process! The last public meeting unveiling the draft master plan takes place


**NEW DATE ** – Tuesday, January 31 at Sand Creek High School, 5pm-7pm


You can review the latest Community Outreach Summary #2 HERE


When: Tuesday, January 31st 5:00pm – 7:00pm (Presentation will start at 5:30pm)

Where: Sand Creek High School (on the second floor) 7005 Carefree Circle North, Colorado Springs, CO 80922


For additional meeting info and access to the virtual meeting option,

please visit the project webpage here.

Guardians of Palmer Park – Volunteer Day Recap


On Monday, over 50 volunteers met at Palmer Park to spend their Martin Luther King Day giving back to the trail system with the Guardians of Palmer Park. Groups were divided into tasks for picking up trash, dog poop, and building trails. It was a great way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and celebrate his legacy.


“The time is always right to do what’s right”- Dr. Martin Luther King

Sledding in the Pikes Peak Region

Anytime it snows in Colorado, it is a time for celebration. Some people stay at home while others venture out into the powder. In the Springs, sledding is a big deal. Finding the perfect sledding hill close to home can be a struggle. If you need help finding that perfect hill, check out the Colorado Springs Sledding Hill Map. Looking for more adventure in your next sledding trip? Check out the sledding hills in Mueller State Park (be sure to call before you arrive for current conditions).

Before you throw on the mittens and load the sleds into the car, read these helpful winter safety tips from TOSC’s Get Out Get Healthy sponsor, Children’s Hospital Colorado.


TOSC Member Hike- Saturday January 21st

Urban Stroll at Coleman Park

10am at Peaks N Pines Parking Lot

(4005 Tutt Blvd.)


Join us for an urban adventure along the social trail network that runs along Sand Creek behind UCHealth Field. We are excited to give our members a behind-the-scenes look at the Norman “Bulldog” Coleman Community Park project, currently in the last phase of its master planning process.  For years, local residents have enjoyed strolling along the riparian habitat this waterway provides. Now it is your turn to experience the magic and possibilities of this eastside gem.


We will visit key locations and vantage points to discuss planned project elements. We will also tour the alignment for the future Sand Creek Trail extension that will provide urban trail connectivity from the existing paved trail north of Barnes Road south to North Carefree Blvd. Along this stretch of urban trail, the City of Colorado Springs Stormwater group is planned to include additional trail access along the creek and around Pond #2, providing access for wetland habitat views and direct connection to the businesses along Tutt Blvd, conveniently enough, the location of Peaks & Pines Brewing Company! During our hike, we’ll be picking up litter along the way in support of our regional Leave No Trace initiative.


Following the hike we invite members to join us at Peaks N Pines Brewery for a beverage.

Become a Member

1% for the Planet- Thank you!


We could not do all we do if we’d didn’t have generous partners like Live Dream Colorado.

Thank you for your latest generous contribution!


Lauren Collier’s Realty Company commits 1% for the Planet and supports TOSC financially.

RISE|Southeast Youth Advisory Council field trip to Denver


On Saturday, January 14th, participants in the RISE|Southeast Youth Advisory Council and TOSC staff traveled up to Denver to meet with representatives from the Denver Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) program. Denver ELK is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1996 that has the mission to educate Colorado’s underrepresented youth about science, math, leadership, and career opportunities. The event was held at the new ELK Center, which is adjacent to the Montbello Open Space. These two facilities were constructed by a partnership between ELK, Denver Parks and Recreation, and the Trust for Public Land in 2022. 


It was a truly inspiring day of shared learning as the youth from Southeast Colorado Springs heard first person success stories from the ELK program, toured the open space and finished with an archery session at the public archery range at the Rocky Mountain Aresenal State Wildlife Area. The RISE youth are excited to be able to host a similar experience for the team from Denver later on this year with Panorama Park being the highlight of our own local partnership between RISE|Southeast, Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services and the Trust for Public Land.

ICYMI: 2023 Pikes Peak Crew Leader Training


The 2023 Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training will take place Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, May 7th, 2023 (attendance during both days is required). This year’s training will occur on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain in the North Slope Recreation Area.

The Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training is an intensive weekend-long training for experienced volunteers who are interested in becoming certified Volunteer Crew Leaders. The training is hosted in partnership by Trails and Open Space Coalition, Rocky Mountain Field Institute and the City of Colorado Springs, Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department.


More Information and Registration


Recycle your Christmas Trees-

PPORA: Outdoor Pikes Peak Initiative

Community Listening Sessions: Jan 23rd-28th


The Outdoor Pikes Peak Initiative invites you to an in person or virtual community listening session to share your voice and help craft the future for outdoor recreation and conservation for our region! 



Session Schedule


5pm-6:30pm in person/7pm-8pm Virtual

-Jan 23: Cheyenne Mountain JR High (Colo. Springs)

-Jan 24: Cripple Creek Heritage Center (Cripple Creek)

-Jan 25: Ute Pass Cultural Center (Woodland Park)

-Jan 26: Pathfinder Park Event Center (Canon City)

-Jan 27: Pikes Peak State College (Colo. Springs)

-Jan 28: Library 21 C (Colo. Springs)


More Information and Registration

TOSC is MER’s Nonprofit of the Month


MER selected TOSC as their January nonprofit of the month! Any time you buy items off the $5 shelf during the month of January, 100% of that will go directly to TOSC! The $5 shelf can be found by the fitting rooms.

Mountain Equipment Recyclers, Inc. (MER) is a retail and consignment outdoor gear store selling new and used high-quality outdoor equipment located in Colorado Springs, CO. MER’s hours of operation are 11am to 6pm and the store is located at 2222 Bott Avenue on the westside of Colorado Springs.

Family Winter Events


Get outdoors and celebrate winter by attending these family events coming up! On Saturday, January 27th, the 2023 Winter Bird Festival will take place at the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center in North Cheyenne Canon Park. This event is free to the public and will feature bird themed hikes, activities and crafts. Winter Fun at Fox Run will be happening on Saturday, February 4th at Fox Run Regional Park! Some of the activities will include a hayride, dog costume contest, games, live music and s’more roasting. The cost is $5 a person and proceeds will support a new nature center that will be built in Fox Run. 

Photo Courtesy: El Paso County Parks

Learn More about the Winter Bird Festival

Learn More about Winter Fun at Fox Run

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