Your TOPS Dollars at Work!
This year TOPS dollars in the parks category will be used on these projects:
Oak Meadows Park Playground Replacement – $200,000 (20 years old)
Boulder Park Landscaping – $30,000 (around new sports courts)
Grey Hawk Park Master Plan – $200,000 (Northgate)
Memorial Park Irrigation-West Prospect Lake – $200,000
And one of our favorite hiking groups – the Saturday Knight Hiking Group enthusiastically supports the 20 year TOPS extension. They are the oldest hiking group in the region!
PARK AND TRAIL News
2022 Partners in the Park
We all need champions. El Paso County Parks has lots of them. These are individuals and businesses that commit dollars to specific county parks, open spaces, nature centers, trails and dog parks. Recently they were honored during an EPC Parks Advisory Board Meeting. Since the program was started in 2009, $437,500 has been donated to improve county park assets. Follow the link to learn more about Partners in the Parks.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife:
2022 Bear Activity Report
Statewide in 2022, CPW received 4,282 reports of sightings and conflicts with black bears. From 2021 to 2022, there was a 16% increase bear related conflict reports across the state. This was mainly due to impacts of drought and food supply issues for bears west of the Continental Divide. In CPW’s Southeastern Region (which includes most TOSC members), reports of bear conflict decreased by 3%. In El Paso County, there were 356 reports and in Teller County, there were 66 reports. The leading cause of conflict was bears trying to access trash. Other sources of conflict included birdfeeders, livestock, open unattended garages and other human-originated items left unsecured.
Did you Know?
In Colorado, there are 17,000-20,000 black bears. The Centennial State’s bear population is stable and growing.
Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project: 2023 Conservation in the West Poll
On February 15th, the State of the Rockies Project released the results from the 2023 Conservation in the West Poll. The data came from a survey that was sent out to voters in eight Mountain West states, including Colorado, to capture their views on various conservation topics. The big take away from this year’s results are that 70-90% of participants support conservation goals like protecting wildlife habitats and migration routes, ensuring healthier forests, preventing light pollution that blocks out the stars, and safeguarding drinking water.
“This year voters in the West have a lot on their minds, but they are not willing to trade one priority for another,” said Katrina Miller-Stevens, Director of the State of the Rockies Project and an associate professor at Colorado College. “High gas prices, increasing costs of living, and water shortage concerns are not enough to move Westerners to reconsider their consistent support for conservation policies or seek out short-sighted solutions that put land and water at risk. In fact, people in the West want to continue our progress to protect more outdoor spaces.”
Hiking Bob Podcasts – Must Listens
Over the past couple of weeks, Hiking Bob has had two fantastic interviews with local parks department leaders. Get the inside scoop on what to expect in our parks in 2023!
We Asked The Candidates!
TOSC sent 2 questions to all Mayoral and City Council Candidates:
#1 Do You Support Issue 1, the TOPS 20-year extension – yes or no?
#2 How should new parks be paid for and how should we address the backlog of capital needs? If you become Mayor or win a city council seat – what solution would you support? Over the next 4 weeks we will feature answers in Trail Talk and provide their full answers on our website in order for you to get to know the candidates better and what they say on issues that matter to you.
Mayoral Candidates on Issue 1 – the TOPS 20-year extension
Longinos Gonzales Jr.
TOSC asked all candidates to respond to these 2 questions. Some chose not to respond.
To read more on why these candidates said yes or no: Here.
TOSC Member Hike- This Saturday!
February 25th at 11am
Coleman Community Park
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. We will visit key locations to discuss planned project elements and check out alignment for the future Sand Creek Trail extension that will connect existing paved trail north of Barnes Road south to North Carefree Blvd. 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.
Tadasana, Twinkle, & Tithe
Last Thursday evening Christy Cole (@urban.veggie on Instagram) hosted a benefit supporting the Trails and Open Spaces Coalition. The night consisted of yoga, fantastic giveaways, and an opportunity to learn more about TOSC. We are incredibly grateful for the partnership and the amazing people we connected with.
The event helped raise $1,165 for TOSC! Thank you so much for your support and we can’t wait to do it all again!
Would you like to partner with TOSC for a community event, fundraiser, or volunteer day? Connect with us at email@example.com
Shadow Lake is coming along…it’ll soon be a destination once again!
This past weekend, TOSC staff were joined by a number of supporters for a little spin around the Legacy Loop to enjoy the beautiful Sunday weather and and take a peek at a number of the exciting projects taking place around the ‘Loop. The restoration of Shadow Lake – the body of water in the southern end of Monument Valley Park is coming along very well and the pond liner is in place. We are excited to see this beautiful amenity, created as part of the original park that opened in 1907, brought back to its glory as a destination for the many local residents who walk, run and cycle along the Pikes Peak Greenway. Along with the northern paved connection of the Legacy Loop along the Rock Island Trail corridor, these are projects that have been years in the making and we look forward to celebrating their completion later in this year. We appreciate the dedicated advocacy from the Friends of Monument Valley Park and the other organizations that have continued to provide support for this historic park and urban trail facility in Colorado Springs!
Community & Job Openings
PikeRide is searching for an Executive Director
This position will carry out the mission of the organization. This person will continue to drive growth and demonstrate passion for building community, micro-mobility and Colorado Springs; a leader who will be responsible for the fulfillment of PikeRide’s mission, vision, and values.
The Guardians of Palmer Park
Saturday, March 4, 2023
9am to 1pm
Group 1 will do trash pickup
Group 2 will pick up dog waste (and any other trash that may be found) on the Yucca/Mesa trails (the dog off-leash areas).
Group 3 will do trail maintenance.
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.
Winter Social at Kinship Landing
Wed. February 22nd
5pm- optional 5k
6-9pm vendor social
Kinship Landing is hosting a Winter Social to help you find people who want to get out there with you. Warm up with a 5k run with Aravapia and then head to Kinship Landing’s Greenhaus for live music, all the best local vendors, and a chance to hand with other people who know that what’s in your pack is just as important as who you pack in with.
Mayoral Candidate Forum
Tues., March 7 | 5:30-6:45pm
Join Palmer Land Conservatory for a 2023 Mayoral Candidate Forum – an opportunity for the community to hear Colorado Springs mayoral candidates weigh in on topics that are integral to living in southern Colorado
Submit candidate questions to
firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2023. For more info, visit palmerland.org
Black Forest Section 16 – Come Share Your Opinion!
March 8th 6:30 pm
Black Forest Community Club 12530 Black Forest Road
Black Forest Trails Association has invited EPC Parks Executive Director Todd Marts to their March 8th public meeting to discuss Black Forest Section 16. Those attending will receive updates AND have the opportunity to share their vision for the leased property. Background: EPC’s lease with the State Land Board expired last year. The county agreed to renew for 10 years. The annual cost increased from $452/year to $21,825 per year. Many who use the 4- mile perimeter trail asked the question: “should the land be purchased?” This public meeting is your chance to get updates and share your ideas on Black Forest Section 16.