Our Trails, Parks, and Open Spaces Thank You!
We Did It!!!!
Thanks to your support, the TOPS 20-year extension was approved by 78% of the voters.
Those of you who picked up yard signs, shared TOPS information cards, wrote letters of support to local papers – you are our heroes!
This win means TOPS will continue to conserve open space and help build new trails and new parks through 2045!
It also means 20 years of dollars to take care of existing open space, trails and parks.
Even though the one penny on every ten dollars sales tax costs the average city resident just $14/person per year, thanks to visitors and tourists spending dollars in COS – the TOPS budget is at $12 million per year. With the extension, the program will continue to purchase candidate open spaces as they become available.
What’s Next? As always, TOSC will attend TOPS meetings and examine the 2024 budget proposal to make sure TOPS dollars are spent according to program guidelines.
Thank you for voting for Issue 1! Thank you for supporting TOPS!!
PARK AND TRAIL News
Billions of people from around the world celebrate Earth Day (April 22nd ) and Earth Month. It is a celebration of all the efforts, large and small, to cleanup up our environment and advocate for a cleaner tomorrow. Locally, there are events taking place all month that will help you come together with other people who care for our earth.
- TOSC Event: Scoop the Poop Challenge on April 29th . Help prevent dog waste from reaching local water ways by participating in this community event! More Information.
- Great American Cleanup: Hosted locally by the Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District, there will be dozens of sites across the watershed to pick up litter. More Information
- 3 Parks in 3 Days on Earth Day Weekend: Join the Guardians of Palmer Park, Friends of Ute Valley and Friends of Peregrine Parks and Open Spaces for workdays on
- Earth Day Celebration at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center: Free indoor family event with interactive tables and booths. April 22nd, 10am to 2pm. More Information
Sinton Trail Ribbon Cutting
Your Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) dollars at work! Last Wednesday we joined Mayor John Suthers, City Councilmen Donelson, O’Malley and Williams and City Parks staff as they held a ribbon cutting and official opening of the final segment of the Sinton Trail. This completes the connection from the Pikes Peak Greenway to the Foothills Trail that takes users south to Garden of the Gods and was a much-needed safety and accessibility improvement.
We appreciate this TOPS-funded ($312,000) project being prioritized as this is a very popular urban trail corridor for our residents and guests. It is also another clear example of why our TOPS tax is so important for our local needs. We are thankful for all of you who voted YES on Ballot Issue 1 and for having 20 more years of continued funding for the TOPS program. This will allow for not only large purchases of land for open space properties, but the strategic investment in closing gaps and improving connectivity throughout our vast urban trail network.
Vandalism at Panorama Park
Unfortunately, over the weekend we were notified by a concerned citizen that vandalism had taken place at Panorama Park in the form of graffiti sprayed on the bathroom facility, ground, and some of the playground equipment.
While painful to see, this is a reality for many of our Parks facilities and is the reason additional lighting and cameras were installed at Panorama Park. Our hope is that the authorities will be able to identify the perpetrators of this criminal activity.
We appreciate our concerned citizens that are the daily eyes and ears of our parks, open spaces, and trails. Please continue to visit and use all of your favorite locations, you all are the experts on the daily conditions! If you discover vandalism or other conditions warranting reporting, please use the convenient GoCOS! application as this will create an immediate notification to the appropriate city staff responsible for responding to the issue.
You can report issues directly via the web or download the GoCOS! app HERE
(Photo credit: Yevgeniya Tsyganok)
Palmer Park Road Closure and More
Palmer Park Roads will be closed on April 5th and 6th for roadway maintenance. Crews will be filling asphalt cracks and chip-sealing the roads. Park trails and amenities will remain open.
On Saturday, April 8th, there will be a race in Palmer Park that will impact trails and parking in the morning hours.
Update: Red Rock Canyon Open Space
The Roundup, Red Rock Canyon and Red Rock Rim trails are now open. Park Staff have been removing man-made features including old roads, dams and canals to restore the landscape to a more naturalized and sustainable state. A focus was placed on re-establishing natural terrain features and native vegetation. Work will continue in the area in the coming months with occasional short-term closures when needed. Visitors can expect to see heavy equipment in the area as additional landscaping and revegetation takes place.
Visit ColoradoSprings.gov/RedRockProject for project updates.
(Photo credit: City of Colorado Springs)
Scoop the Poop Challenge
Sat., April 29th 9-12:00 PM
The sixth Scoop the Poop Challenge will happen during the last weekend of April! Thanks to the support of Heuberger Subaru, this event will be featured at Falcon Regional Dog Park, Bear Creek Dog Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, and Cottonwood Creek Park. The goal for this event is for no dog poop to get left behind!
Help TOSC and Heuberger achieve this goal by picking up at these parks and beyond! Next week, learn about what this year’s challenge will be.
The History of Monument Nursery
In 2015 our local trail and forest historian Eric Swab wrote an excellent history of Monument Preserve. Here are excerpts.
In 1903, the U.S. Forest Service, then known has the Bureau of Forestry, sent a party of 7 forestry students to study fire damage, natural reproduction and planting problems in what we now know as the Pike National Forest. They found that between 1848 and 1853 and again in 1880 wildfires had ravaged the region. They determined that 40 square miles of trees were not reproducing in a normal manner; that nature was working so slowly and that the area would have to be planted by man. They recommended the establishment of nurseries to provide the tree stock for this reforestation. Frank Sherwin, the Ranger at Palmer Lake, suggested a site at the base of Mount Herman. The land was part of the National Forest, more space available for planting, better soil, longer growing season, close to the railroad, providing inexpensive transport of seedlings and the ability to grow food products to support the nursery staff. There were also disadvantages, violent winds and inadequate water supply.
We Get By With A Little Help From Friends…
Big shout out to ColoRADo Adventure Hostel!! They hosted a bingo fundraiser for TOSC and raised $735.
We could not be more grateful! And thanks to all the businesses that provided giveaways for their event.
TOSC does not receive tax support. We rely on donations from business partners and generous member support. If you’d like to learn how to support TOSC – give us a call and thanks!
Happy Earth Month!
Earth Month was first declared April 4th, 1970. 53 years later we still celebrate with local clean-ups and fundraisers supporting conservation organizations.
Veda has again chosen TOSC to be their Earth Month recipient. Stop by any of their 3 salons and check out a lovely 7-speed bike that could be yours! We thank Veda’s Staff for being great supporters of our community!
Welcome our Newest Team Member
We would like to welcome Sheridan Stancliff to the TOSC family! Sheridan has a wide range of experience and talents that will help TOSC continue to move forward in our mission.
As a young child in western Colorado, Sheridan developed a love for mountain trails, forests, and enjoying the peace of an early morning walk. That love then grew to exploring the world and the rest of the US whenever she has the opportunity. We are excited to have her as part of our team as office and membership manager.
Pikes Peak CATS: Mustang Way Project
Sat., April 15th 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM
This year they are collaborating with Manitou Springs School District 14 to build a much needed trail connecting the High School with the Intemann Trail and Pikes Peak trail network.
Working with adults and students, we are building the 1130 foot trail to be safe, sustainable and beautiful for hiking, biking, and nature-walking. We are focused on bring sustainable balance for protecting the natural environment and creating opportunities for people to get outside, exercise and connect to nature.
PS: When working with us, please bring with you: gloves, working shoes, lots of water, sun screen, clothing layers, lunch, and whatever you need for a wonderful day outdoors in Colorado.
Mustang Way Volunteer Work Day
Saturday, April 15
8:00 am to 2:30 pm. We meet at the MS High School rear parking lot.
We are building a new trail from Manitou Springs High School to Lower Intemann Trail.
For more information, check out their website
Great American Cleanup
Sat., April 15th
Registration is live for the 2023 Great American Cleanup – Fountain Creek Watershed. The Fountain Creek Watershed District will conduct this 1-day cleanup in collaboration with local governments, nonprofits, Friends groups and neighborhoods. If interested in hosting an event site, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trash bags and gloves will be provided. Please dress appropriately for our ever-changing weather, bring sunscreen, gloves, and wear closed toe shoes. Participants under 16 must be supervised. All participants are required to fill out a liability waiver.
2nd Annual Earth Weekend Trail Work Collaboration: 3 Parks in 3 Days
April 21st, 22nd, 23rd
The Guardians of Palmer Park, Friends of Ute Valley Park, Friends of Peregrine Parks and Open Spaces and the City of Colorado Springs Parks Staff have teamed up for the 2nd Annual Earth Weekend Trail Work Collaboration. The fun will begin at Blodgett Open Space on Friday, April 21. Next we will be at Palmer Park on Saturday, April 22. We will then finish it all off at Ute Valley Park on Sunday, April 23. Additionally, Goat Patch Brewing is back once again to sponsor the event by providing drink tickets to all those who come out and help. It’s going to be a great time!
Signup at the City links below for one, two or all three days. You get to do awesome work, meet and spend time with wonderful people and then get to celebrate your awesomeness with some great libations!
Each days’ event will begin at 9:00 am and last until around 1:00 pm. Come on out and lend a hand; we’d love to see as many of you as possible. Please remember to dress appropriately for the work and weather, which includes long pants and closed toed shoes. Let’s do this!!!
Friday at Blodgett Open Space: https://cerv.is/0132×3832
Saturday at Palmer Park: https://cerv.is/0132gnKoQ3T
Sunday at Ute Valley Park: https://cerv.is/0132gQiPEGc
Garden of the Gods Park: Motorless Morning
Sat., April 29th 5:00 AM – 12:00 PM
This special event will eliminate motor vehicle access within the park from 5:00 a.m. through 12:00 noon.
During Motorless Morning, visitors can park their vehicles at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center (1805 30th Street), Garden of the Gods Trading Post (324 Beckers Lane, Manitou Springs) or in the overflow parking lot at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site (corner of 30th Street and Gateway Road).
As always, the park will remain free and open to the public. Park rules and regulations, including speed limits, apply; however, skateboards and longboards are welcome on park roads during this event. There will also be designated slow zones and one-way traffic. At noon that day, the park will reopen to motor vehicles.
Volunteers are needed. Questions? Call 719-219-0108.
More Information: https://gardenofgods.com/events/calendar/motorless-morning/
2023 Pikes Peak Crew Leader Training
May 6th and 7th
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.
This training will hit capacity soon. Don’t delay registering! Register here.