News Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Listening Tour and Starlight Spectacular Tickets go up Today!

2023 Listening Tour with Mayor Yemi and City Council


We strive to be your “eyes, ears and voice” when it comes to trails, parks and open spaces.  When we join voices, we have more impact. Our new Mayor Yemi is offering residents six listening sessions beginning this Friday. He wants to hear from you! Are you concerned about safety on our trails? Let him  know. Should parks general fund support return to pre-recession levels? Tell him so. What about increasing LART (the Tourist Tax) as a way to fund the parks and trails tourists use?


Mayor Yemi will set the strategic direction of the city and wants your input.


Please plan to attend one of the six.

  • Aug 4,  5:30-7:30  Sand Creek High School(7005 N. Carefree Circle)
  • Aug 11, 5:30 -7:30 COS City Hub(4304 Austin Bluffs Parkway)
  • Aug 18th, 5:30-7:30 Hillside Community Center (925 S. Institute)
  • Aug 25th, 5:30-7:30 Pikes Peak State College (2070 Interquest Parkway)
  • Sept 1, 5:30-7:30  Hybl Center UCCS (4925 N. Nevada)
  • Sept 8th, 5:30-7:30 SE Armed Services YMCA (2190 Jet Wind Dr)
  • Sept 9th 10am – noon Microsoft Teams ( link to be posted)


Thank you City Stormwater Enterprise!


COS received 9.4” rain during the month of June – a new record. We normally average 16” the entire year! Yes some streets flooded and trails were damaged. But it would have been so much worse if our city’s Stormwater Staff hadn’t been steadily improving stormwater infrastructure  and waterways.  As a result, fewer homes and business flooded during  June’s record rain. Stormwater improvements have also benefitted parks, trails and open spaces through cooperative projects.


A win-win and we thank you!


Beat the Heat with Parks


The average first snowfall in Colorado Springs is October 26th. Between now and then, there will be hot, uncomfortable days to deal with. Beat the heat during the dog days of summer by visiting one of these parks: 

  • North Cheyenne Canon Park: N. Cheyenne Canon Park boasts some of the best shaded picnic spots in town and also has nice calm parts of North Cheyenne Creek to dip your toes in. Check out the Bruin Inn Picnic Area. More Info: 
  • Bear Creek Regional Park: The areas along the trails in Bear Creek West provide ample shade and spots where children can play in the creek. Check out the Bear Creek Nature Center for a nice air conditioned place to fill up water bottles and check in on their bee hive. More Info: 
  • Colorado Springs Splashpads: The City managed spraygrounds remain free and open until Labor Day. Some of the sites change their schedules once school districts go back into session. More information:
  • Dog Beach: Stratton Open Space is home to the “Dog Beach” at South Suburban Reservoir. Park in the Rideway Parking Lot and use the Upper Meadows Loop (1.7 miles) to reach the Reservoir. 

SUP Boarders: There are great choices for Stand Up Paddleboard beginners and enthusiasts around the region. Check out Quail Lake, Prospect Lake (Memorial Park), Palmer Lake and Monument Lake.

As a thank you to U.S. military members, Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers active duty military, veterans and the National Guard free admission to all state parks for the month of August. 


Military members and veterans, resident and nonresident, can pick up a free August Military Pass at any Colorado state park or CPW office by showing proof of service. Passes become available on Aug. 1, 2023 and are available for service members only.


CPW offers several additional military benefits to active duty military, veterans and disabled veterans. Programs include:

  • Free admission to state parks on Veterans Day
  • Year-round free entry to all state parks to residents with Colorado Disabled Veteran and Purple Heart license plates
  • Free lifetime small game and fishing combination license for qualified disabled veterans
  • Free Independence Pass which provides unlimited access to all Colorado state parks year-round to Colorado resident veterans with qualifying service-connected disabilities

For more information about Colorado’s state parks, visit the CPW website.

Join Friends of El Paso County Nature Center and Celebrate Happy Trails!


Friday, August 16th, 6-9pm  

Bear Creek Nature Center


Great food, wine, music and incredible desserts.

Support your nature centers and the future Fox Run Nature Center!

First Case West Nile Virus – El Paso County


West Nile Virus has been reported in other parts of Colorado. EPC Public Health reports a resident tested positive for the virus.


Infected mosquitoes spread the virus. Your best protection is using insect repellent, covering up with long-sleeved shirts and pants when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk and drain standing water from areas around the house where mosquitoes lay eggs. Planters, pet dishes and kids swimming pools can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.


Remember, most people infected with West Nile Virus don’t have symptoms. One in five will have flu-like symptoms and fewer than one in 100 will have a serious – potentially deadly neurologic response.


Protect yourself and enjoy your hike/bike ride.

Love Pancake Rocks?


Help improve this portion of the Ring the Peak Trail. Thanks to LART (Lodgers, Auto Rentals Tax) there is financial support to make the trail safer. You can help RMFI by volunteering. 


Dates and Sign-up information:

Saturday, August 19th

Sunday, August 20th

Tuesday, August 22nd

Saturday, September 2nd

Sunday, September 3rd

Monday, September 4th

Saturday, September 16th

Sunday, September 17th

Tuesday, September 19th

Legacy Loop West Side Upgrade


As you may have found already, the west side of the Pikes Peak Greenway, from the Legacy Plaza at West Fontanero Street south to West Uintah Street is temporarily closed for the next 9 weeks. This project is a collaboration between Colorado Springs Utilities and Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services in support of creating the fully-paved trail segment on the west side of the Legacy Loop


CSU is beginning work to ground (bury) the old overhead power lines and then crews will prepare the corridor for paving, just like the section north heading to the Popcycle Bridge. There will be a new pedestrian trail bridge installed over the outlet of Mesa Creek, removing the unfortunate dogleg in the trail and enhancing the user experience along this beautiful trail route. 


Please respect the closure during this time as they work on this ~1,500 foot stretch. A majority of the funding (60%) of this joint project comes from the Trails, Open Space and Parks sales tax with Colorado Springs Utilities providing the remainder. For additional details and updates, please visit the project webpage HERE


We Heard You!


Cyclists told us they’d like a little longer route for this years’ Starlight Spectacular. So we increased it to 7 miles and cyclists can opt for a bonus loop of Juniper Way to make it appx 9.2 miles! There is still time to sign up and join us this Saturday, August 5th for our 27th annual Starlight Spectacular.


Come in a costume incorporating cool lights and you might win a prize! Thanks to Ted’s Bicycle Shop, one lucky female and male cyclist will win a Giant Bike. Three Costumed Runners/Walkers will go home with a gift card toward new Saucony shoes courtesy Colorado Running Company plus a cool backpack from FjallRaven and passes to Cave of the Winds. Space Fantasy is the theme.


Sign up today and save (registration goes up 4:00 today, August 2nd)


(if you already signed up and forget to pick up your t-shirt at a sponsoring bike shop – no problem. We’ll have it for you night of ride in the Visitor Center.)

The Starlight Spectacular has partnered with Galvanize Recycling!


As we look to enhance the event each year, one of our focus areas is to make the event as green as possible and reducing the level of trash we generate gathering ~1,000 people in one spot for a family-friendly event. Along those lines, we’re pleased to be able to offer you a chance to take part and reduce your own refuse footprint, pun intended.


Galvanize Recycling is a new local recycling business that will take your old shoes and lights and will ensure that they are redistributed to the appropriate partners for recycling or reuse. We’ll help reduce the waste from our recreational pursuits, one step at a time!


They will have a truck in the Festival Zone of the event to collect your used running and hiking shoes, cycling and exercise clothing, and bike gear free of charge. Bring your items the evening of the event and Galvanize will distribute them where needed and recycle when they cannot be put to use by others.


NOTE: You must be able to manually transport the items to the Festival Zone, there will be no vehicle access.


Get your Starlight on


Exclusive Starlight Spectacular shirts are available in our Bonfire Shop (along with other cool TOSC items) – order your very own 2023 Starlight hoodies, long sleeve shirts, and tees while they are available!


 Shop Here

Community Events

Stratton Open Space Restoration Project

Tue, Aug 8, 2023, 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM


Join Friends of Stratton to help close and restore non-system (social) trails near Preserve Drive, to reduce erosion and preserve habitat.


Meeting Location: Preserve Drive access point to Stratton Open Space, just before the gate on Preserve Drive.


Parking is available on-street along Preserve Drive.

Please wear long pants and close-toed shoes. Bring gloves, water, snacks, sun protection, and clothing layers for the weather.


Please register for the project with Cervis .

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