Trail Updates and Opportunities to Get Involved.
Spring is in Bloom Along the
Sand Creek Trail Corridor
We’d like to take a moment to highlight the many improvements to the Sand Creek Trail that are taking place along Sand Creek, one of the natural drainages that runs from far northeast Colorado Springs through to the confluence with Fountain Creek. The highlighted area of this map from the 2014 Parks Master Plan shows the corridor, being ~13.5 miles in length with 3 major improvement areas pointed out. These came from a successful planning project, a recently completed underpass, to active construction taking place on a trail crossing that will bring greatly enhanced connectivity along the entire corridor.
The recently crafted Coleman Community Park Master Plan contains details for one of the next segments of the Sand Creek Trail, from Barnes Road to North Carefree Circle. There are plans for the construction of an underpass at Powers Blvd that will provide east-west connection for both the Sand Creek and Rock Island Trails.
As part of the Platte Avenue bridge replacement project, a beautiful new underpass was constructed that connects to the existing Sand Creek Trail from there to Galley Road. It will provide future access to the trail once additional creek rehabilitation is performed south of there to Airport Road.
At Hancock Expressway, work is progressing on the pedestrian-operated signalized crossing that will create the first urban trail network connection into and out of Southeast Colorado Springs. We are excited for the opportunity to celebrate with RISE|Southeast and the community once this high-value connection is completed!
PARK AND TRAIL News
Palmer Trail Update
The Palmer Trail closed last Memorial Day due to a rockslide. Rock the size of a garage fell 650 vertical feet on forest service property. A company was hired to assess the risk of future slides. Based on that report the decision was made by the forest service to create signage warning users of the risk.
Once installed, the trail will re-open in early to mid May. Eventually the bridge will be restored. Until then the trail is still closed. Tickets have been issued to violators.
Blodgett Master Plan
Planning gets underway this month with a baseline inventory of the 384 open space. The public engagement process begins in late April/early May. By working with the US Forest Service, a preferred alternative to connect with forest service property will hasten future connectivity.
We will keep you updated and provide dates and times for public participation. The planning process will determine the location of new trails on the recently purchased addition to Blodgett Open Space.
Friends of Equestrian Skills Course:
New Focus and New Board Members Needed
The Friends of the Equestrian Skills Course, located in Bear Creek Regional Park, are shifting their primary focus from major fundraising, planning, and building to a maintenance group. The group is putting the finishing touches onto the switchback training area which will conclude their current build plans. The change in focus is coming during a time in which multiple Board of Director members are completing their maximum terms. There is an immediate need for new Board of Directors. More Information can be found here.
Want to volunteer on the FoESC Board of Directors?
Friends of Cheyenne Mountain SP: Survey
The Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park are conducting community research to find what the community would like to see them accomplish and offer to their membership. They are asking current and former members to complete a short 3-minute survey that will give them the information to lead the group into the future.
Friends of Mueller SP: Outdoor Gear Drive
The Friends of Mueller State Park is collecting gently used outdoor gear to be sold on June 24 as part of Mueller’s Outdoor Skills Day.
The Friends Group, which raises money for improvements to the park, will be accepting donations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, at the Woodland Park Senior Center.
Donations will be collected in the parking lot of the center at 321 N. Pine St., across the street from the U.S. Post Office. The group is unable to accept bikes, skis or ski boots. But the donation of other outdoor gear will be much appreciated.
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.
LNT: Allow Others a Sense of Discovery
Principle 4 of Leave No Trace states that users of the outdoors should not disturb any features of the natural environment. This helps to “allow others a sense of discovery” when they visit our parks and open spaces. Finding a beautiful wildflower or unique rock while out for a hike always adds to the experience, and the best way to capture the moment is simply to take a picture. This ensures that other people can feel the same excitement and it is especially important to consider the young stewards of the earth just learning about its wonders.
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!
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 is close to capacity. Don’t delay registering! Register here.
More Opportunities to Get Involved
If you have not checked out the TOSC event calendars, this is a great time to do so. You will find all sorts of events. Be sure to scroll down and click on the VOLUNTEER calendar and join one of our wonderful local Friends Groups in making our community a better place.
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.
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
Mountain Equipment Recyclers: End of Winter Sale
Sat., April 15th 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Join MER in celebrating the End of Winter by getting some rad deals on winter items as well as discounts on all your summer gear needs. They will have select items up to 50% off and our $5 grab bag items to benefit our non-profit of the month! There will also be pizza and sodas, so get there before it’s all gone!
2nd Annual Earth Weekend Trail Work Collaboration: 3 Parks in 3 Days
April 21st, 22nd, 23rd
Each Day: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
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 projects will include: Blodgett Open Space on Friday, April 21, Palmer Park on Saturday, April 22 and 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.
Registration is Required
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/