Mayoral Run-off and Rescheduled Volunteer Events
Mayoral Run-off – Down to Two Candidates
TOSC was delighted that the Pikes Peak United Way/KKTV debate between Wayne Williams and Yemi Mobolade included our parks funding question.
We asked: In the April election, voters overwhelmingly supported extending TOPS for 20 years. TOPS’ primary purpose is to conserve open space with limited funding available for building and maintaining parks and trails. There are 11 promised parks waiting to be built plus a backlog of parks-related capital needs. General fund support for parks still falls short of what it was back in 2008.If you become Mayor, would you commit to tackling this challenge and how might you approach a solution?
William’s response: I’m appreciative to the people of COS for extending TOPS. I supported and referred it to the ballot. We have increased general fund funding for parks by 38%. It’s not enough. We must continue to prioritize and address the needs of parks moving forward.
Mobolade’s response: There is a $270 million dollar backlog in deferred maintenance needs. My family depends on parks. This is a top priority for the next Mayor. Another opportunity is increasing the LART tax, paid for by visitors. I believe there is an opportunity to elevate the parks budget to pre-recession levels.
To view the entire debate, visit the KKTV website.
Friendly reminder: Ballots have been mailed. If you have not received yours yet or still need to register to vote, contact the City Clerk’s office
PARK AND TRAIL News
Scoop the Poop Challenge
Sat., April 29th 9-12:00 PM
The sixth Scoop the Poop Challenge will happen 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 average dog poop weighs half a pound and one gram of the waste contains over 23 million coliform bacteria that can pollute water and soil. This weekend, TOSC and Heuberger have the goal of keeping 100 lbs of waste from being left behind and talking to over 100 people about how to Leave No Trace when recreating with pets.
Help TOSC and Heuberger achieve this goal by picking up at these sites and your own neighborhood trails and parks! People who pick up dog waste at the Challenge sites can win a pet first aid kit!
Forecast: Flurry of Rescheduled Volunteer Days
April is the second snowiest month in the Pikes Peak region. The recent drought busting storms have done wonders to turn the landscape green but have created havoc for Earth Month volunteer work days and cleanups. Below is list of rescheduled events:
- Ute Valley Park Volunteer Work Day (3 Parks and 3 Days Makeup Date) on April 29th. https://cerv.is/0132×3829
- Guardians of Palmer Park next workday is May 6th (Their Earth Day event was canceled)
- Fountain Cleanup has a volunteer cleanup rescheduled the Hibbard Park cleanup for April 30th. https://fb.me/e/13ltWVUgA
Gardening is Good For You!
How good? New CU Boulder research indicates gardening improves your physical and mental health.
When you garden, you eat more fiber and get more physical activity. (What is more delicious than fresh greens and vegetables from your own garden?!)
Gardening could help you live longer by reducing your risk of cancer and chronic diseases. Plus levels of stress and anxiety decrease when you garden. Where can you garden? Charmaine Nymann Community Garden at Bear Creek Regional Park, Mid Shooks Run Community Garden and the city’s Springs In Bloom program have openings available. So get out that garden hat, gloves and get healthy!
State of the Outdoors
Our partners – Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance is offering a limited number of tickets to their annual State of the Outdoors. May 15 at the Norris Penrose Event Center, 4:30-6:30.
Learn the latest on Forest Health projects and PPORA’s Outdoor Pikes Peak Initiative
You Still Have Time
To win one of these very cute 7-speed bikes! Stop in at any Veda Salon between now and the end of April and register to win! Plus most of the Staff are donating free services to guests who choose to support the Trails and Open Space Coalition during April – Earth Month.
We are SO GRATEFUL to our friends at Veda Salon for being such an amazing partner. Their support allows us to do what we do: work for more acres of open space, more miles of trail and improved parks in our region!
For the past two weeks our Executive Director Susan Davies has been with her sister in Nepal. It was an opportunity not to be missed!
She spent 3 days in Bardia National Park seeing (and hearing) tigers, rhinos, elephants, monkeys, and many other amazing animals and birds.
Here’s a photo of park rangers using domestic elephants to patrol the park. Lessons learned: one way to limit impact on the park and animals is to limit access. It wouldn’t be popular here, but it definitely works!
Also, parks and trails are popular everywhere!
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/
Fountain Creek Family Fun Day
Saturday, May 6, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Explore outdoor activity stations including puppet shows, dinosaur fossils, bug sweeps, kite making, pond critters, crafts, and more. Free slice of pizza for all participants from Papa Murphy’s. FREE to activity duty military with I.D. $5 per person/$4 per member. Prepaid registration recommended, but not required.