News Wednesday, July 26, 2023

World Ranger Day, Stratton Open Space and Palmer Park Work Days

Shifting Into High Gear for the Starlight Spectacular!


With the 27th annual Starlight Spectacular less than 12 days away, the staff of TOSC, our exceptional event planning committee, and the many people throughout the City of COS that we coordinate with are dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s. Committee members took a spin along the Starlight’s expanded bike route this past Saturday night and we’d have to say, the Garden of the Gods is even more spectacular than usual, filled with the lush green surroundings! 


Tuesday of this week, we had our final walk-through with staff from the Garden of the Gods, the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services, and Special Events staff. We’ve enjoyed the support and partnerships that have been built throughout the years and thank everyone who works to make this event the great success that it is. We wouldn’t be able to do it without their efforts.


To find out more about the event and register, click HERE


We are still looking for a few additional volunteers (the real heroes of events like this!), so if you can volunteer a few hours of your valuable time and be a part of this spectacular evening, find out more and register HERE


Friends of Stratton OS: Volunteer Workday

Tuesday, Aug. 8th, 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM


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


Celebrate the Seasons – and Colorado Springs.


The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department is now accepting photo submissions for the 11th edition of the Discover COS calendar.


This annual calendar shows off the natural beauty of Colorado Springs parks, trails and open spaces. PRCS seeks pictures that highlight colorful Colorado and the beauty that our parks, trails and open spaces display through all four seasons with “Celebrate the Seasons” as the 2024 theme.


All submissions must be received by 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7.


Click here for more information.

What Would You Like to See Replace Smokestacks?


When the Drake Power Plant is finally disassembled and the land is declared safe for a new purpose. Yes, that will take years to accomplish but various groups have already been discussing what “could be.” Should it be open space, a dog park, shops,  or fill some other purpose?


Pass along your ideas. We pride ourselves on being your eyes, ears and voice when it comes to trails, parks and open spaces.

The Guardians of Palmer Park Workday, Saturday, August 5, 2023


There will be three separate working groups:


  • Group 1 will do trash pickup throughout the park. 

To preregister for this group go to:


  • Group 2 will pick up dog waste (and any other trash that may be found) on the Yucca/Mesa trails (the dog off-leash areas).

To preregister for this group go to:


  • Group 3 will do trail maintenance

To preregister for this group go to:


All working groups will meet at the Maizeland Parking Lot near the storage container next to the Baseball field. Crews will assemble there and be dispensed to the actual work sites.


Only preregistered volunteers will be accommodated. Volunteers are encouraged to provide their own work gloves and drinking water.


The time frame for all working groups is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 


The Guardians of Palmer Park will provide tools.

It’s Happy Trails Time Again


Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers invites everyone to its annual, delicious BBQ provided by Buffalo Gals and help raise money for Bear Creek, Fountain Creek and the future Fox Run Nature Centers. Save your spot and sign up today! Friday, August 18th at 6pm.

New Target Shooting Rules for Pike-San Isabel NF

The new rules would make it illegal to use glass objects, cans, and appliances as shooting targets in the National Forest. The rules went into effect this week. Violators could be subject to fines of up to $5,000 for an individual or up to 6 months of jail time.

For more information, click here.

Next Monday is World Ranger Day.


Rangers do everything from cleaning up homeless camps, sharing fun facts with children, encouraging people to follow park rules and dozens of other tasks that make our parks better and safer. Consider what our large parks, open spaces and National Forests would be like without Rangers. So next time you see a Ranger – thank them!


Read more about this worldwide commemorative day here.

You Can Still Celebrate Park and Recreation Month!


Music in the Park is 5-8pm Friday, July 28th in Pinon Valley Park located at 5585 Mule Deer Dr..

And you won’t want to miss the online contests.


For a list of other fun, free events plus some online contests, click here.

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

PikeRide+ Is Rolling Out into the Community


This past Saturday staff from TOSC and PikeRide were able to attend and engage the public at the monthly Farmers Market hosted by Solid Rock Community Development Corporation. This farmers market event is a wonderful resource that provides fresh food offerings to local residents that live in a documented food desert, and it wasn’t lost on us that it was held in the parking lot of the old abandoned King Soopers. While the community grapples with the closure of the existing King Soopers across Academy Blvd, being able to provide this new PikeRide+ program to residents that often are challenged with a lack of transportation options was the perfect fit. 


A takeaway from the day was when a young man realized that he could easily use one of the PikeRide+ cycles to commute to school on a regular basis, saving the expense of driving and removing the hassle of parking. We are pleased to be playing a part in providing this expanded service through the Colorado Energy Office funded grant effort.


To find out more about the program and to see if you qualify, visit HERE


Starlight Spectacular: Family Memories that Glow


Finish off your family’s summer adventures by walking, running or riding in the Starlight Spectacular!


This unique Colorado Springs tradition is one of the most amazing ways to have family bonding time while spending a night out under the stars. Here are some of the amazing things families can expect at Starlight:

★ Costumes: One of the great traditions of Starlight is wearing costumes and this year’s theme is Space Fantasy. Children (and adults!) can dress up as astronauts, Star Wars/Star Trek characters or anything else inspired by space. There will be costume contests for both the runners/walkers and the cyclists.


★ Glow and Lights: You will see it all. LED lights all over bikes. Runners wrapped in glow sticks. Parents pushing kids in jogger strollers decked out in everything that glows. It is magical seeing hundreds of people and bikes creatively displaying lights. In the festival zone, children can have their faces painted with glow in the dark paint!


★ Pancakes: Another tradition that families love is ending the night with pancakes. Local Scouts prepare pancakes for everyone to enjoy after completing the wonderful routes through America’s best park.


Don’t miss out! Buy your tickets today and save:


Have fun with Torie G. our Allen B. and Al B. as they chat about the Starlight Spectacular, it’s history, what’s new and why it’s remained popular for 27 years!


By the way, the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort is offering a 25% discount on a limited amount of rooms August 5th for our friends driving down from Denver or up from Pueblo. Just use the promo code STARLIGHT.

We Need You!


To sign up for Starlight Spectacular Aug 5th, Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center.


Need another reason? Our three amazing Rest Stops. CS Cycling Club has provided legendary rest stops for the past two decades. Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub came on board last year with music, delicious night-time fare, and energetic members of the Jack Quinn’s Running Club cheering everyone on. Aravaipa Running Club is also hosting a rest stop. Count on it being tasty and fun. And of course we have our faithful boy scouts flipping pancakes to reward your finish.


What other event feeds you early, often and late…treats you to a magical night-time romp in one of the most famous Parks in the world…. and supports the trails, parks and open space you use and love?


Register today and secure a 2023 SS T-shirt!

˗ˏˋ ★ ˎˊ˗ WANTED: Starlight Course Marshals ˗ˏˋ ★ ˎˊ˗


Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Starlight Spectacular. In an average year, around 100 volunteers give a few hours of service to help make the event memorable. This year, there is big need for course marshals. For 2 hour shifts, Course Marshals will work in pairs in strategic spots along the bike and fun run/walk routes to help participants stay on the correct path. In previous years, Course Marshals have decorated their cars in lights and have dressed up in costumes to add a festive touch along the route. There are over 20 spots left to fill and we would love to have your help on August 5th! All volunteers receive an event t-shirt.


Volunteer Registration

Community Events

Beer (Re)Release: Paint Mines Interpretive Double IPA

Friday, July 28th

5:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Join Goat Patch Brewery for the (re)Release of their Paint Mines Interpretive Double IPA and help them kick off their 6th Birthday Weekend!

El Paso County Parks representatives will be on site with more information on the Paint Mines as well as the other county amazing parks in the area.

$1 from each bottle sold will be donated to help preserve the Paint Mines Interpretive Open Space in El Paso County.

Get more information here.

Beautiful Blooms at Bear Creek Hike

July 29, 20023

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM


Take a hike along the trails of Bear Creek Nature Center with a CO Native Plant Master to see what’s blooming and learn about some of the hallmark species that grow in Bear Creek’s habitats. Recommended ages 12+.


Pre-registration required. $5 per person/$4 per member.


Take a hike along the trails of Bear Creek Nature Center with a CO Native Plant Master to see what’s blooming and learn about some of the hallmark species that grow in Bear Creek’s habitats. Recommended ages 12+.


Pre-registration required. $5 per person/$4 per member

Click here to register.

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