Mayoral Candidates Answer Questions and Scoop the Poop Success
The Clock Is Ticking….
One week from now we’ll have a new COS Mayor. Be sure to turn in your ballot by 7pm next Tuesday. Early results will be released at 7:30 pm.
Still on the fence? Read what Wayne Williams and Yemi Mobolade had to say about what they will do to increase parks funding if elected: Click Here
Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training
The 12th Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training took place in the North Slope Recreation Area on Pikes Peak this past weekend and was a huge success. This event is a collaboration between the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department, TOSC and Rocky Mountain Field Institute with support from the US Forest Service and Colorado Springs Utilities.
Over 30 people participated in the training, representing outdoor recreation organizations, Friends Groups and agencies stretching from the Arkansas River Valley to Palmer Lake. During the two-day training, participants learned trail maintenance from City of Colorado Springs Parks Staff, restoration skills from RMFI, leadership skills from TOSC and noxious plant information from the US Forest Service. The group practiced skills on trails around the north shore of South Catamount Reservoir where at least 600 linear feet of trail tread was repaired and several hundred feet of non-system trails were closed and treated. Now the candidate volunteer crew leaders will lead two work days under the supervision of Park Rangers before being fully certified as Crew Leaders.
A big thank you to Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain staff for their hospitality as hosts of the event and all the different organizations and land managers that made this training possible! A huge shout out to TOSC’s own Aaron Rogers for all his work with this project as well as the time he spends with the friends groups in the area.
PARK AND TRAIL News
PikeRide Plus – Colorado Energy Office Grant
Congratulations to our local bike share organization for their recent Community Access to Electric Bicycles Grant Program award from the Colorado Energy Office. This grant will allow PikeRide to create a unique model that will allow low to moderate-income individuals living in specific areas of Colorado Springs access to a $25/month lease of a new e-bike, charger, safety equipment, and PikeRide support. Registered users will have access to their e-bike at home for their daily transportation needs whether that be for work, school, or just a leisurely ride along an urban trail or to one of our local parks.
We are pleased to be partnering with PikeRide for this grant that will expand low-cost transportation options for our residents and are working on the soft-launch now. Look for more information to follow and the open registration for participation in this exciting program is scheduled to take place in July.
Join the Celebration!
Ten years ago the Incline officially opened to the public. Incline Friends is throwing a party to celebrate and would like you to join them!
The Movie “The Mirage” featuring Timothy Olson will be shown. Fastest known time running the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail.
Thursday, May 11
UCCS Ent Center for the Arts
Doors open at 6pm
Fox Run Nature Center Open House
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Antelope Trails Elementary School (15280 Jessie Drive)
Have you heard the news? A new Nature Center is being built in Fox Run Regional Park! Come to the first open house meeting to find out more and offer your input.
Project team members will be available at the open house to answer questions and discuss the new Fox Run Nature Center. In addition, attendees can view the conceptual design, exhibits, and provide input regarding what activities they’d like to see in the park and at the nature center.
Poop Fairy in Cottonwood Creek Park
Every park has a dog poop problem to some degree. Forest pixies will not magically appear, under the light of full moons, to remove dog waste and solve this issue. There IS a “Poop Fairy” who lives near Cottonwood Creek Park. Brian and his dog Teddy have been bringing plastic bags to fill milk jugs he strategically placed in Cottonwood Creek Park and the nearby trail for over 3 years.
He doesn’t scoop other pets’ waste, but he wants to make it easier for people to make the right decision when they forget bags at home. Volunteers like Brian and Teddy, and the dozens of others who participated in past Scoop the Poop Challenges, help protect fragile ecosystems from decaying dog waste and keep our wild places looking (and smelling) great!
Don’t Miss State of the Outdoors
The 5th Annual State of the Outdoors event, presented by the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance in collaboration with the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC is next week.
The theme for this year’s event is Threats and Opportunities: Addressing the wildfire crisis head-on while planning proactively for the region’s bright outdoor future!
May 15, 2023 from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm at the Norris Penrose Event Center
Bristol Trail Closer to Being Completed
This past weekend 98% of the historic El Paso Canal was cleared of debris thanks to Boy Scout Troop 194 and Uintah Bluffs volunteers. The Canal crosses the trail. Once completed the trail will connect to the Elementary School and park. Interpretive signage will tell the fascinating story of the Canal. Kudos to Ray Wallander and the Boy Scouts!
Illegal Camping along our Creeks and Trails
We heard you! Many of you tell us you are avoiding stretches of the Pikes Peak Greenway and other system trails due to the number of unhoused residents camping and leaving trash along and sometimes on trails. We’re committed to exploring what other communities are doing to address this issue. Some cities have set up campgrounds for the unhoused with mixed results. The vast majority of assaults are between campers and do not involve trail users. The number of assaults increases as population density increases. Creating campgrounds for the unhoused with bathrooms and showers can improve water quality but does not improve safety. Some cities like Fort Collins invest in frequent sweeps to protect parks, trails and open spaces. Fort Collins Police Services recently created the HOPE team (homeless outreach and proactive engagement). Similar to our HOT team, the 5 officers with plans to expand will try to get people they encounter assistance.
Next week: your comments about what you are seeing on our trails and along our creeks. We are still listening if you want to send in your thoughts.
Business Partners Make All the Difference!
Veda declared TOSC their Earth Month Partner and raised money for us the entire month of April.
As a result: the majority of their employees offered services to clients who made donations to TOSC. Plus 3 wonderful Old Town Bike Shop 7-speed bikes were given away along with other awesome Gift Baskets.
Another Amazing Partner:
This community is so lucky to have Business Owners like Nic Posner. This is the 50th year Criterium has been selling bicycles for people of all ages and abilities. To celebrate, Nic is supporting a different non-profit each month and sharing a percentage of his profits. His goal is to “give-away” $50,000 by years end in honor of Criterium’s 50 th birthday. TOSC was fortunate to benefit from his success during the month of March. Thank you Nic for giving back to your community!!
Love, Lotus, and Leaves – October 6th-8th – A Trails and Open Space Coalition Benefit!
Summer is just about here, but we’ve got a save-the-date for Fall already lined up! The ah-mazing Christy Cole of Urban Veggie has selected TOSC to be the beneficiary of an awesome, fully-immersive yoga retreat experience that she’s planned in early October. The SCP Hotel will be the base of operations for Love, Lotus, and Leaves and the days are filled with wonderful activities, a TOSC-led hike included!
We deeply appreciate the energy that Urban Veggie puts into creating events like this and a shout-out to the many generous sponsors that are making it possible. For more information and to purchase your ticket, you can visit the Evenbrite site HERE
2024 TOPS $$
2024 TOPS (trails, open space and parks) revenue is predicted to be @ $13.4 million dollars. That’s a 2% increase over this year. The TOPS Working Committee was presented with a budget that included open space, trail and park projects. They’ll vote on the proposal next month.
Here is a preview of what’s on the project list: the Open Space category is $7.3 million with 75% of that set aside for potential acquisition. Of the remaining 1.8 million, 1.4 million will be used for stewardship (Ranger and Staff Salaries) and $447,000 for operations. In the Trails category (20% maximum), $2,449,149 is available. $900,000 is proposed to be spent on the following projects: Austin Bluffs/University Park implementation ($200,000) Blodgett/Pikeview Open Space Implementation ($200,000) Chamberlain Trail-South ($100,000) FisherCanyon Open Space Implementation ($200,000) Palmer Mesa Trail ($100,000) and Sand Creek Trail, design and planning from Airport to Palmer Park ($100,000)
In the Parks category (20% maximum), $2,894,912 is available due to a prior fund balance. Capital Projects include $500,000 for Grey Hawk Park Implementation, $250,000 for Jimmy Camp Creek/Corral Bluffs, and Irrigation Renovations in Bricker, Otero and Tomah Park totaling $376,000. $1,723,087 of Parks TOPS dollars will be used for parks operations.
Fountain Creek Watershed Public Forum
6:15pm on May 11th
RSVP for a special event at Angler’s Covey (295 South 21st Street Colorado Springs, CO 80904) to learn about the Fountain Creek Watershed and lend your voice to a conversation about the future of our region’s main waterway. The Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District is hosting a public forum and listening session as they ask the public for feedback on how we should maintain and improve water quality and recreational opportunities.
This is an incredible opportunity to help mold the future of recreation and water in our region.
Cleanup of Monument Valley Park
Saturday, May 13th
9:00 am–12 Noon
Meet at the W. Fontanero St. parking lot of Monument Valley Park
(Intersection of W. Fontanero Street and Culebra Avenue)
We’ll be cleaning up sections of the park north of Uintah Street & south of the Popcycle Bridge.
Bring work gloves, water, and sunscreen.
Trash bags and tools provided.
FREE FMVP T-SHIRT FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS
Visit http://www.fmvp.net/monthly-cleanups.html for more information
Ute History Education Program
Saturday, May 13, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Visit Bear Creek Nature Center between the hours of 10am and 1pm to investigate how the Ute Indians have used science, technology, engineering and math to survive and thrive in the Rocky Mountains. Travel along an easy trail participating in hands-on activities investigating how the Ute people have solved problems in the past and present. Use technology and art to make a take-home craft.
Recommended ages 6+. $5 per person or $20 for a family of 4 or more
Active Adults: Sunset Bird Photography Workshop
Saturday, May 13, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Spring is a wonderful time to view birds, and the wetlands and woodlands at Fountain Creek Nature Center provide a perfect place for them to flock to. Join award-winning photographer, Mike Pach, as he helps you capture photos of spring migrants in the soft evening light. All skill levels welcome. Bring your camera and tripod (optional). Be prepared to photograph the sunset.
Prepaid registration required. $20 per person.
Children’s Colorado Therapy Care on Telstar Community Fest
Saturday, May13th, 2023
11 am – 1 PM
Enjoy food truck, Toasty the Vibes mascot, Ziggy the Switchbacks mascot, photobooths, “Touch a Truck” with a firetruck, ZooMobile, Children’s Hospital Colorado booths, and more!
Parking available along east, south, and southwest sides of the building.